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By Fungai Lupande
A 37-year-old man, who allegedly masqueraded as a police officer, appeared in court yesterday for allegedly stealing a Toyota Fortuner on the pretext that he was impounding the vehicle because of the owner’s reckless driving.
Tonderai Moses Chakacha (37) appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande charged with theft of a motor vehicle.
He was remanded in custody to March 21 for trial.
Prosecuting the case, Ms Patience Chimusaru, alleged that on February 16 this year around 3pm, Reginald Chiwocha was driving a white Toyota Fortuner registration number ABG 4421.
Chakacha teamed up with accomplices only identified as Robert, Obey and Taurai, who are on the run and connived to steal the car.
They allegedly trailed Chiwocha along a road in Mt Pleasant, Harare.
The accused were travelling in a Mercedes Benz E320 and a Toyota Runx.
They later blocked Chiwocha’s vehicle using the Toyota Runx and ordered him to pull over.
One of the accused approached Chiwocha and flashed a police identity card purporting to be a police officer.
He accused Chiwocha of reckless driving and ordered him to disembark.
It is alleged that the quartet asked Chiwocha to get into their Toyota Runx so that they proceed to CID Vehicle Theft Squad (VTS) Harare.
It is alleged that one of the accused took control of Chiwocha’s vehicle.
While in Avondale, the accused allegedly lied to Chiwocha that they wanted to do another assignment and instructed Chiwocha to go to CID VTS in Southerton alone.
It is alleged that Chiwocha boarded a commuter omnibus to Southerton.
He discovered upon arrival that his vehicle was not impounded.
Upon realising that his vehicle was stolen, Chiwocha made a report to the police.
Four days later, VTS detectives received information that Chakacha was in possession of a stolen vehicle.
He was arrested near Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) Eastlea in Harare.
Chakacha led the police to the recovery of the Mercedes Benz used to block Chiwocha’s vehicle.
The stolen Toyota Fortuner is worth $20 000.