By A Correspondent- One of the four armed robbers who attacked a couple along the Harare-Bulawayo highway in September and got away with about US$32 000 was shot and wounded before being arrested on Monday last week.
Vincent Mpofu (29) who has been on the run since September, was shot in the neck and arrested after he was cornered by detectives at his hideout in Bulawayo after he and five accomplices robbed several people at Silozwe Business Centre, Matopo on November 21.
According to the police, the four attacked a couple along the Harare-Bulawayo highway after blocking them using a Honda Fit. The four armed with machetes and an unidentified pistol robbed the hapless couple of US$32,078 in cash before fleeing.
Police have also been looking for Mpofu for defaulting on court appearances where he was facing several robbery charges including four cases in Entumbane alone.
“When Vincent Mpofu was arrested, the officers realised that he has several outstanding arrest warrants for defaulting from appearing in court where he was facing several robbery charges. He was also wanted in connection with an armed robbery case thar occurred along the Harare-Bulawayo highway where they attacked a couple and got away with US$ 32,078 in cash,” said national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.
“Police in Bulawayo have been investigating the circumstances of an armed robbery that occurred on September 7 along the Harare-Bulawayo Road. Four suspects armed with machetes and an unidentified pistol stole some US $ 32,078 in cash. Mpofu, Eric Glen Mbongeni Mathema and two as yet unidentified men are suspected of robbing the couple and were wanted by the police.”
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said Mpofu was cornered after one of his accomplices in the Matopos robberies, Lidion Moyo (51) was arrested on Monday following a tip-off about his whereabouts and he implicated the other members of the gang including Mpofu.
Information from Lidion Moyo also led to the arrest of Liberty Moyo (25) while Melenkosi Dube and two other unnamed suspects remain at large.
“On November 22, our detectives received information about the whereabouts of Lidion Moyo who was a suspect in the armed robbery of five people at Silozwe Business Centre in Matopos. The detectives then proceeded to Moyo’s hideout and managed to apprehend him.
“During interrogation, the suspect then implicated his five accomplices which led to the arrest of Vincent Mpofu and Liberty Moyo. He also gave up three more members of the gang namely Melenkosi Dube and two as yet unidentified suspects who are all still at large,” said Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.
On the same day, police then proceeded to raid the homes of Mpofu and Moyo and apprehended them. When the police arrived at his home, Mpofu attempted to evade arrest, scuffling with the arresting officers who then shot in the neck.
The armed robber is recovering from his injuries under police guard at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).
After he was arrested, the police officers searched his house and found a Colt automatic pistol with two rounds in the magazine in his wardrobe.
Further investigations by the police revealed that the pistol was stolen during a robbery in Gwanda on November 16 during which the complainant was robbed of ZAR 70 000, US$3 500 and a pistol with 10 rounds of ammunition. The gang has been linked to 14 other cases of armed robbery along Bulawayo-Harare highway.