ROB­BERS VANISH WITH $35 000:

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Crime Re­porter

ARMED rob­bers re­port­edly pounced on two fam­i­lies in Harare and Bu­l­awayo last Mon­day night and got away with $35 000 and RMB1 500, po­lice have con­firmed.

Po­lice said they were wor­ried about such cases as the rob­bers tar­geted in­di­vid­u­als who kept large sums of cash at home.

Chief po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba said in last Mon­day night’s in­ci­dent, two com­plainants were at their home in Bu­l­awayo when four armed rob­bers en­tered.

“One of the sus­pects was in hand­cuffs while the other three posed as po­lice de­tec­tives,” she said. “They ac­cused the com­plainants of buy­ing stolen doors from a lo­cal shop in Bu­l­awayo and de­manded to ver­ify if the pur­chase was gen­uine.

“It was dur­ing this pur­ported ver­i­fi­ca­tion ex­er­cise that they hand­cuffed the first com­plainant, whilst the sec­ond com­plainant had her hands tied and face cov­ered with ban­dages. Both com­plainants were force-marched to the main bed­room where they were or­dered to lie down.”

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the rob­bers forced open a trunk and stole $31 000 cash, three cell­phones, cut­lery and two lap­tops all val­ued at $2 200.

They also got away with the house keys and Mercedes-Benz car keys.

In the sec­ond in­ci­dent, po­lice said a for­eign na­tional ar­rived at his house in Marl­bor­ough at around 8.40pm last Mon- day and was con­fronted by the armed rob­bers wear­ing masks.

The rob­bers had al­ready en­tered his house and were in his cor­ri­dor.

“One of the sus­pects pointed a gun and or­dered the com­plainant to lie down whilst the other ac­cused searched the com­plainant and took his pis­tol from his waist and $50 from the pock­ets,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.

“They force-marched the com­plainant to his bed­room where they opened the gun cabi­net, took $4 000 cash and 1 500 Chi­nese yuan. The sus­pects fled the scene, leav­ing the com­plainant locked in his bed­room.”

Snr Asst Comm Charamba urged mem­bers of the public to deposit their money in banks to avoid such in­ci­dents.

“The public is be­ing urged to be on the look­out for peo­ple who mas­quer­ade as po­lice of­fi­cers,” she said. “It is their duty to ask for po­lice iden­ti­fi­ca­tion or even call the near­est po­lice sta­tion for clarity be­fore per­mit­ting strangers ac­cess into their homes.”

Snr Asst Comm Charamba urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion that might as­sist them in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the two cases to con­tact any near­est po­lice sta­tion or phone (04) 703631.

Early this month, a Harare cou­ple lost $80 000 cash in Madokero sub­urb to armed rob­bers, as it emerged that busi­ness­peo­ple who do not bank their tak­ings are be­ing tar­geted by crim­i­nals.

The rob­bers trail their tar­gets from ar­eas around the city and pounce on them while open­ing the gates to their homes or at traf­fic lights.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba

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