Police have arrested eight suspected armed robbers believed to be part of a gang that was terrorising people in and around Harare, stealing cash and valuables as the force declares war on criminals.
Some of the suspected armed robbers were arrested on Sunday afternoon at Machipisa Shopping Centre after a shoot-out with police detectives.
One of the armed robbers was reportedly shot twice in the abdomen after returning fire to detectives who had cornered them.
The eight suspects are John Dengure (37), Edson Dandara (27), Roy Mugavazi Mutemagazi (35), Taurai Chitepo (36), Abel Mukandawire Marufu (37), Fruitnato Billiart (45), Edmore Marwizi Mapuranga (41) and Steven Katewa (42).
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the eight were arrested on four counts of robbery, two armed robbery counts and attempted armed robbery which occurred between September 20 and October 12.
“The accused persons, who went on robbery sprees in Harare, committed the crimes which include the one which occurred on 20 September 2018 at around 0200hours, where the accused persons unlawfully entered a house in Westlea, Harare.
“The accused persons, who were wearing balaclavas and wielding some unidentified silver pistols confronted the complainant and assaulted her several times before ransacking the house, stealing cash and cellphones, all valued at $10 000,” he said.
He said on September 25 at around 7.30pm, the suspects approached two complainants who had parked their car and were counting money at their house in Highfield, Harare.
They smashed the vehicle’s windscreen using a stone and pointed a pistol at the complainants before stealing $15 000 cash.
On October 12 at around 7pm, the suspects also blocked a 22-year-old man who was driving a Toyota Wish in the city and produced pistols in a bid to rob him.
They were using an unregistered Toyota Hiace and an Isuzu KB250 truck, but the man managed to squeeze his vehicle between their getaway cars before making a report at a roadblock along Bulawayo Road.
“The accused persons who were chasing the complainant made a U-turn after realising that there was a police roadblock. On the same date, at around 2100 hours, a 25-year-old woman went to relieve herself near Roadport, Harare and she was approached by two accused persons, who introduced themselves as law enforcement agents,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
He said they forcibly pushed her into an unregistered Toyota Hiace that had eight other accomplices. The woman shouted for help and members of the public managed to rescue her and managed to apprehend two of the suspects.
“Police instituted further investigations which led to the arrest of six other accused persons, recovery of the Toyota Hiace, Isuzu KB 250 vehicle, three balaclavas and vehicle registration number plates.
“Investigations are still in progress,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi appealed for information that might lead to the arrest of two outstanding suspects.
“As ZRP, we would like to warn would -be perpetrators of such acts that the long arm of the law will always catch up with them.
“Meanwhile, the ZRP applauds members of the public for their cooperation in the apprehension of the armed robbers,” he said.
Early this month, police arrested three suspected armed robbers following a shoot-out, who had ambushed a man in Mufakose and stole his Toyota Hilux truck, cash and cellphones before dumping him in Norton.