TWO Mutare men who committed a spate of robberies in Nyazura and Chipinge were recently arrested after one of them used a cellphone stolen from one of the victims.
Police detectives tracked the phone and subsequently arrested the suspect who was using it at his workplace at Queens Academy in Mutare.
Upon his arrest, he sold out his accomplice who was then arrested the following day.
According to the police, the two would hijack vehicles after pretending to be desperate travellers along highways. Two motor vehicles that had been hijacked, repainted and affixed with stolen number plates were recovered after the suspects were interrogated.
Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Luxson Chananda confirmed the arrests. He said Richard Gurudza (37) of Morningside and Pride Munyika (21) of Mabvengwa Village under Chief Marange are facing two counts of robbery.
Allegations are that on April 3, the complaint, Benson Nyabango (37) of Rusape was driving a Honda Civic Hybrid along the Chivhu-Nyazura Highway when he offered a lift to Gurudza and Munyika near Murambinda Growth Point.
“One of the suspects occupied the front seat while the other occupied the back seat. As Nyabango drove towards Nyazura, he reduced speed to avoid some potholes.
“At this point, the accused person who was occupying the rear passenger seat produced a rope and hooked the complainant’s neck, ordering him to stop the car. Nyabango complied and one of the suspects shoved the complainant out of the vehicle,” said Inspector Chananda.
It is alleged that one of the robbers produced a knife and demanded cash from Nyabango.
“The two suspects then drove off in the vehicle. However, Nyabango had left his cellphone in the car. A report was filed at ZRP Dorowa and with the help of network service providers, detectives monitored the stolen cellphone. On May 14, investigation officers received information on the cellphone’s usage,” said Inspector Chananda.
A team from CID Buhera teamed up with CID Mutare’s Detective Assistant Inspector Mazambani and Detective Constable Komboni to make a follow-up on the suspect. Gurudza was arrested at his workplace and the stolen cellphone was recovered.
Further interviews were conducted and Gurudza led detectives to the recovery of the Honda Civic Hybrid at his house.
The motor vehicle had already been sprayed with black paint, with a different set of number plates fitted. Gurudza also led to the recovery of the vehicle’s original number plates.
“Gurudza then implicated Munyika. He was subsequently arrested at Chigomba in Sakubva. One of the cops was injured as Munyika tried to resist arrest. When interviewed, Munyika told the cops that they had also stolen another vehicle in Chipinge in 2020,” said Inspector Chananda.
This led to the recovery of a Toyota Allex from Gurudza’s place.
According to the Central Vehicle Registry, the number plates that were fixed on the Toyota Allex were for a Toyota Wish.-Manica Post