State Media – FIVE suspected carjackers targeting motorists while masquerading as genuine travellers in Harare and Beitbridge have been arrested.
The suspects were mainly targeting taxi drivers and robbing them of their cars and valuables.
CID acting spokesperson Detective Assistant Inspector Rachel Muteweri said the same carjacking gang was operating in central Harare and Beitbridge between April last year and this month.
“This prompted the Zimbabwe Republic Police to launch a manhunt. On 16 January 2023, Bill Tirihama alias Machingura aged 26 of 1447, Chinamano, Epworth, Harare, Narvick Nhowa aged 28 and John Kamba aged 42 all of Highfield, Harare; John Allan Nyoni aged 21 and Tichaona Dhava aged 26 of Beitbridge were arrested after detectives from CID Braeside intercepted them driving a Honda Fit,” she said.
She said further investigations revealed that the vehicle was reportedly stolen from Beitbridge and that the suspects had committed similar offences in Harare and Beitbridge.
The suspects later led a team of detectives to a bushy area near Mangava Shopping Centre in Beitbridge where a pellet gun and toy gun used in the commission of the crimes were recovered.
“The accused persons are now clearing four cases of robbery of motor vehicles. In one robbery on December 21 last year at about 4am, the gang approached a taxi parked at Mashakada Shopping Centre, Beitbridge and hired the driver to New Stands in Beitbridge.
Along the way, they robbed him of his motor vehicle at gunpoint and drove off leaving him stranded,” Detective Asst Insp Muteweri said.
She said using the same modus operandi, the suspects robbed another complainant of his Toyota Sienta on December 24 at 10.20pm in Harare. They hired the driver from a night club in central Harare to Lochnivar.
Along the way, they robbed him of his vehicle at gun point, shoved him out of the vehicle and drove off.
The five have since appeared before Magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje at Harare Magistrates Court where they were remanded in custody to today for routine remand.
“As the Zimbabwe Republic Police, we continue to encourage motorists to maintain a high level of security on their vehicles by installing alarm systems, anti-hijack systems and tracking devices.
“Keys should be removed from the ignition port and doors locked whenever the motor vehicle is left unattended.
“To taxi operators, it is advisable to always vet customers before offering services to them.
“For more information feel free to contact CID Vehicle Theft Squad (VTS) on 0242 665524, CID VTS Bulawayo on 0292 64047, PGHQ Whatsapp number 0712 800 197 or the National Complaints Desk on 0242 703631,” Detective Asst Insp Muteweri said. -state media