Tuesday, 31 October 2017

ROBBERS TIE UP FUEL ATTENDANTS, SERVE CUSTOMERS

POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested seven suspected armed robbers who were allegedly involved in a spate of carjacking and robbery cases in the southern region of the country.

The suspects are alleged to have stolen property worth more than $25 000 in nine weeks between August and October this year.

The suspects were identified as Bulawayo residents; Handsome Sibanda of Pumula South, Nyashadzashe, Hove of Old Pumula, Timothy Munhari of Entumbane  Bonface Vutete from Mberengwa, Tanaka Mboti and Simbarashe Shumba both of Mvuma as well as Terrence Sibanda of Glen Norah, Harare.

During one of their armed robberies at Flo Petroleum Service Station in Glengarry in Bulawayo on Thursday last week, the gang allegedly tied up fuel attendants and put on their uniforms to serve clients before getting away with $300 cash and valuables stolen from the garage and clients.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Department Vehicle Theft Squad Bulawayo allegedly arrested Hove at his home in Old Pumula following a tip-off. Hove allegedly led the police to his accomplices.

A source, who is also a victim of the robbers, said he was called to Queenspark Police Station where he positively identified the gang.
“There were about 10 other victims, including a woman from Filabusi’s Engen Service Station, which the gang raided last week. They all identified the culprits,” said the source who preferred not to be named.
“The suspects carjacked six motorists and all the vehicles were recovered. One was recovered in Masvingo after the gang abandoned it following an accident. The Chronicle carried the story on Saturday.”
A source close to investigations said the gang was armed with guns, knives and ropes that they used to tie or throttle their victims.
“In August three of the suspects hired a taxi driver from a city hotel to Matsheumhlophe. They were charged $9 which they promised to pay upon arrival. Along the way, they throttled the driver with a rope, tied both his legs and hands before threatening him with knives. They robbed him of $19 and a cellphone and drove away in his Honda Fit vehicle,” said the source.
The source said the suspects used the same modus operandi to rob another taxi driver two days later.
“The suspects dumped the vehicle at the Tree Top Toll gate near Gweru and fled after police officers showed interest in the vehicle,” said the source.
“In September they pounced on a taxi driver who had stopped at a robot at the intersection of First Avenue and Fife Street at about midnight. One of them pointed a gun at the driver and the others jumped into the vehicle. They tied him up and stole his car and other valuables,” said the source.

In October, another source said, the suspects drove to Rutenga, Mwenezi in Masvingo Province, where they allegedly robbed a shop and were spotted driving the stolen vehicle.
“Members of the public chased them at high speed until their vehicle burst a tyre. The suspects abandoned it and fled on foot,” said the source.

In another robbery that was also reported in The Chronicle, the gang allegedly hired a taxi driver from the Bulawayo city centre to Trenance suburb. They paid $8 which they were charged, and once in Trenance, they turned on the taxi driver, tied his neck while the other one covered his head with a jacket.

They took the car and left him tied to a tree. The vehicle was recovered in Masvingo last week.

Using the same tactic, in October, the gang attacked a driver and left him tied to a tree in Manningdale suburb. They allegedly took his car and valuables.

Last week, five of the gang members allegedly boarded a Honda Fit that was pirating to Matsheumhlophe after midnight. Along the way they allegedly attacked the driver and two passengers that they found in the car.

“They drove towards Manningdale suburb where they tied them up and drove away after robbing them,” said a source.

“On Thursday last week they raided Flo Petroleum, Glengarry Service Station in Bulawayo and got away with about $300, three cellphones, two wedding rings, wrist watch and a bag with particulars. They briefly served customers refuelling while wearing attendants’ uniforms,” said a source. chronicle

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