Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

HARARE – Detectives investigating three robberies which netted an armed gang close to US$230,000 shot and killed five suspects in two incidents on Wednesday and Thursday, police sources said.

Police tracking the gang shot and killed one of the alleged robbers, Denis Dube, in Harare on Wednesday night.

Information obtained from the processing of the crime scene put the police on the tail of the other members of the gang.

Detectives in a Toyota Fortuner were tailing a Mazdza BT50 pick-up truck without registration plates on Glenara Avenue on Thursday afternoon when they were made out by the gang, leading to a high-speed chase.

A shootout between the robbers and police ensued, before the robbers decamped from their vehicle outside a tyre repair shop. Some were shot as they tried to escape.

Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi on Thursday said two suspects were shot dead and five had been arrested, although warning that the death count could go up.

Police sources however told ZimLive on Thursday night that four robbers had been killed on Thursday – bringing the total to five inside 24 hours.

The dead robbers were identified as Musa Taj Abdul, Taurai Chitepo, Godfrey Mupamhanga and a fourth only named as Mahlangu. Police sources say one of the suspects, Prince Zakeo, survived the shooting and was arrested.

The identities of two other suspects and their fate could not be immediately established.

Police recovered four handguns.

Armed to the teeth … The guns and ammunition recovered by police after shootout with armed robbers on Thursday

In simultaneous raids on February 26, masked armed robbers stormed the offices of businessman Rodney Dangarembizi in Chisipite, Harare, and made off with US$37,000, two vehicles and 13 mobile phones. They then raided the offices of businessman and lawyer Tawanda Nyambirai in central Harare where they took a safe containing US$180,000.

Police also linked the gang to a raid at Makoni Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza where shots were fired in broad daylight as robbers made off with US$7,000 and $30,000 Zimbabwe dollars.

Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said the suspects lived in South Africa, but would drive to Zimbabwe to commit crimes and then slip back into the neighbouring country.

“The ZRP wants to send a message to armed robbers that if they resist arrest and threaten the lives of police officers, they will regret making such a choice because they will be outgunned, and they will be killed. They must hear me clearly on that point,” Nyathi said. -ZimLive