Notorious Beitbridge armed robber, Bigboy Chauke (34), who was arrested recently after unleashing a reign of terror in the district, was yesterday jailed for an effective nine years for one of the crimes he committed in August in the Tshapfuche area.
Chauke was arrested at Dulivhadzimu long-distance bus terminus after being on the run for more than three weeks.
He appeared before Beitbridge regional magistrate Mr Innocent Bepura jointly charged for armed robbery with Cephas Munodawafa (41) and Wilfred Mapfumo (49).
The trio denied the charges of robbing Ms Pauline Ndou (32) of Tshapfuche Village of a total of R13 000, and US$40 at gunpoint.
Chauke and Munodawafa were found guilty of committing the crime, while Mapfumo was cleared of the charges following a full trial.
The two men were left with an effective nine years to serve after Mr Bepura suspended one year of the 10 year sentences for five years, on condition that they reimbursed Ms Ndou a total of $54 275, R4 700 and US$10 by December 31.
Prosecuting, Mr Cloudios Karinga told the court that on August 27, the trio, acting in connivance with another accomplice known only as Danger, went to Ms Ndou’s homestead at night.
He said Munodawafa was carrying a rifle while Chauke and Danger were carrying pistols.
The court further heard that on arrival at the complainant’s homestead, they identified themselves as police officers who wanted to search for some evidence at her house.
She complied and opened the door for them and Munodawafa and Chauke pointed firearms at her.
They then force marched her to the bedroom and tied her together with her children using a rope before demanding money.
They locked the woman and her children in a storeroom and ransacked the house, taking R13 000 in R200 notes and US$40.
On August 28 at around 2am, Munodawafa, Mapfumo, and Danger were spotted by some police officers on patrol in the same area, but they ran away.
Police gave chase and managed to arrest Munodawafa, who led them to his accomplices who were later arrested on different dates in Beitbridge.
An assortment of goods, among them six live rounds of ammunition, a Nokia cellphone and R3 600 in cash and US$20 was recovered from Munodawafa.
Chauke was arrested on September 10 and he led police to the crime scene for indications while wearing some shoes he had stolen from the woman.
The stolen items were $176 760, R13 000 and US$40 cash and goods worth $68 209, R3 600 and US$20 cash were recovered.