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Econet, NetOne base stations thieves arrested

by Staff reporter
31 Jul 2023 at 06:54hrs | Views
POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested five men in connection with a spate of robberies in which they targeted solar panels, generators and solar batteries at Econet and NetOne base stations.

Following their arrest, some of the stolen accessories such as batteries were recovered at some licensed shops in the city.

Police recovered 9 solar panels, 22 lithium batteries and a 39-inch JVC television during the raid. At a Press conference last week, Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said between April and July, the suspects stole more than US$30  000 worth of accessories from the base stations.

"We recovered stolen property at Super Electronics shop located along JMN Nkomo between 6th and 5th Avenue, 12 volts batteries, 1 x 12 volts Gel battery,1 Probe Ultra Series Battery and 1 Willard battery," he said.

"At the Andures Enterprises located along JMN Nkomo between 5th and 6th Avenue, we recovered 3 x 12 volts Shoto batteries, 2 Probe Leoch 170 AH Battery, 2 Neraba batteries while some were recovered from individuals who were also buying from these thieves."

Insp Ncube identified the suspects as Bangisani Sibanda (39) from Emganwini, Witness Msipa (31) from Cowdray Park, Lingani Sibanda (29) from Emganwini, Oscar Sibanda (31) from Emganwini and Mcedisi Liberty Ncube (28) from Nkulumane 10.

"During the period extending from the month of April 2023 to July 2023, the suspects were targeting communication systems at Econet and NetOne base stations. They would attack security guards manning the facilities using machetes, axes and iron bars and leave them tied with ropes before stealing solar panels, generators and solar batteries," he said.

Acting on a tip-off, police arrested the gang leader, Bangisani Sibanda, who implicated his accomplices.

"Acting on the tip-off, we arrested Bangisani Sibanda the gang leader and he helped us with the investigations that led to the arrest of  five others," said Insp Ncube.

He commended members of the public for assisting them with information.

"We appreciate the members of the public who work together with the police in fighting crime. We warn members of the public and businesses to desist from buying stolen goods as they also risk being prosecuted," said Insp Ncube.

He said the police are appealing for information that may lead to the arrest of the other two suspects who are still at large.

"We also appeal to those with information that may lead to the arrest of the outstanding suspects Trust Sibanda and Matthew Moyo alias Mateo to report at any nearest police station," said the police spokesperson.

Source - The Chronicle