POLICE national spokesperson Paul Nyathi yesterday confirmed that three more suspected armed robbers were shot dead during a shoot-out with detectives on Thursday, bringing the total number of fatalities to five.
The suspected armed robbers were part of a gang accused of robbing money changers of their foreign currency and a car at Makoni Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza recently.
The deceased were identified as Dennis Stanley Dube, 29, also known as Dingalo of Plot 1, Snake Park Harare, Johnson, Taurai Chitepo, 36, and two foreign nationals.
Three of the suspected armed robbers who survived the shoot-out are expected to appear in court today facing a series of armed robbery charges committed in and around Harare.
Prince Zakeo, 25, Dennis Mateta, 25, and Godfrey Mupamhanga, 27, were brought before Mbare magistrate Shelly Zvenyika who granted an application handed by detectives handling the matter for the trio’s further detention to complete part of their investigations.
They will appear at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts today for their initial remand proceedings.
According to Nyathi, the gang was based in South Africa and would only cross into Zimbabwe for special assignments before travelling back to their base.
“The police has successfully linked the gang to nine cases of armed robbery. Some of the cases include the armed robbery which occurred on December 20, 2019 at Wessesol Shop in Msasa, Harare where they disarmed a security guard and stole a special Amadeo Rossi Revolver, $160 000 cash and an Isuzu KB240 single cab vehicle which was later recovered abandoned along Acturus Road,” Nyathi said.
“On February 5, 2020 at around 1400 hours, the gang went to Makoni Shopping Centre, Chitungwiza armed with pistols, an AK 47 rifle and robbed unsuspecting complainants of cash totalling US$19 000, $30 000, cellphones and a Toyota Allion vehicle. The vehicle was later found abandoned in Glen View.
“On February 25, 2020 the accused persons robbed complainants in Harare of US$40 000, jewellery, several pairs of shoes, laptop, cellphones, a star pistol and Hyundai vehicle at gunpoint.
“They went further to rob the complaint’s workplace and got away with cash and property valued at US$227 250, R28 000 and US$10 000 was recovered,” Nyathi indicated.
He added that the police have recovered an assortment of firearms and ammunition, some of which had been stolen from victims namely a 9mm CZ pistol, Star pistol, Bruno pistol, 38 special Amadeo Rossi revolver, FN Browning pistol, 20 x 9m live rounds and 4 x 7,5mm live rounds.
The police have recorded an increase in the number of robbery cases across the country, as the economic situation continues to worsen for ordinary citizens.
The daring robbers have been targeting thousands of United States dollars stashed in homes and companies.
The police have warned the public against keeping large amounts of cash at home and at their companies or disclosing their financial status to strangers as this makes them easy targets of robbers and other criminal elements.