Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
A police sting operation last Thursday resulted in the arrest of five members of a prolific eight-man armed robbery gang that allegedly pulled off a number of heists across the country over several months, with a search for the three remaining members still ongoing.
Police have confirmed the arrest of Charles Chekenyere (27), Marshal Mutekwa (27), Arnold Musimudziwa (29), Julius Chibharo (35), and Moses Kwangwari (37) who were allegedly responsible for a spate of armed robbery cases committed in Masvingo, Beitbridge and other areas, from 21 July to 7 September this year.
“On 11 November 2021, a combined team of detectives from CID Masvingo, Beitbridge and Zvishavane acted on received information and raided Charles Chekenyere at his residence in Madziva Village, Chivi. The suspect was arrested and upon being interviewed, he implicated seven other suspects as his accomplices. Property, weapons and assets purchased from proceeds from robberies were recovered during the operation.
“Police made some follow-ups leading to the arrest of the other four suspects and the recovery of one FN Browning pistol loaded with a magazine of 12 rounds, a bolt cutter, a small axe and a Toyota Wish vehicle registration number AFI 8727 which the suspects used as a get- away car,” a statement from the police reads.
The police also recovered property bought from proceeds of the armed robbery cases which include a Nissan Caravan vehicle registration number FO 9137, a Toyota Mark X vehicle registration number AFO 6242, four Mark X vehicle wheels, an agreement of sale for stand number 2257 Victoria Range in Masvingo, two defy deep freezers and a JVC stereo radio.
A bottle store at Sarahuro Business Centre, Mwenezi was also opened by one of the suspects through proceeds of armed robbery cases. The police said during the course of their investigation, the suspects had revealed their modus operandi, which included scaling of walls and breaking of windows.
“Currently the suspects are clearing six (06) armed robbery cases in which cash amounting to US$ 6 630-00, ZAR 3250-00 and other valuables were stolen. The suspects would scale over precast walls and break doors or windows with crow bars to gain entry into houses before attacking the complainants while threatening to shoot them with pistols and demanding cash.
“Comprehensive investigations to clear all the cases in which the suspects were linked are in progress. More details on the robbery cases committed by the suspects will be availed soon,” reads the statement.
Meanwhile, police are appealing for information which may lead to the arrest of the outstanding three suspects, namely; Aleck Kuzonyei, Reward and Bronco. Anyone with information, to report at any nearest police station, WhatsApp number 0712800197 or contact the National Complaints Desk on 0242 703631.