POLICE in Bindura have launched a manhunt for five suspected robbers linked to a series of armed robberies in Mashonaland Central province.
BY VANESSA GONYE
The five, all believed to be from Harare, were initially arrested on May 22 this year, taken to court, where they were released on bail before they went on the run.
They were identified as Tinashe Munanga (37), from Epworth, Ishmael Mutungira (23) and Musarurwa Gutsa (42) from Kuwadzana Extension, George Gift Dandemutande (28) from Glen View, and Mugove Chimuti.
Acting provincial spokesperson for the Criminal Investigation Department, Temptetions Gondokondo said on May 23 last year, the suspects masqueraded as police officers and robbed seven complainants in and around the Aerodrome area in Bindura.
“In order for their mission to be a success, they roped in a juvenile boy, whom they gave a car battery and used him as bait,” Gondokondo said in a statement.
“On the same day at around 1:30am, the suspects approached the first complainant, who is a security guard at a shop in Aerodrome and accused him of selling a stolen car battery to the juvenile. They told him that he was under arrest and took him to the next shop, where they confronted the second complainant using the same modus operandi.”
The five are said to have taken the two complainants to an alley before tying their hands using shoe laces, taking their cellphones in the process and left them under guard by one of the suspects.
The suspects used the same method on the other four complainants who were at different shops around Aerodrome, before proceeding to a car park which is adjacent to the shops and employing the same process on two more complainants who were sleeping in their vehicles.
“They subsequently broke into one of the complainants’ shop, blasted a built- in safe and stole a small handheld safe that was inside which contained $1 300 bond notes and US$1 300,” the statement said.
“They then ordered one of the complainants to surrender the keys of his commuter omnibus vehicle to them and they drove away, leaving all the complainants tied together at the crime scene. The stolen commuter omnibus was recovered dumped in Hatcliffe, Harare.”