The Sunday News
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
POLICE in Midlands have expressed concern over a sharp increase in cases of armed robbery in the province.
In an interview, Midlands police spokesperson, Inspector Joel Goko said the cases of people being robbed of cash and other possessions were on the increase.
He said the robbers were targeting money changers, gold dealers and businesspeople who carry huge sums of money.
“They pounce on money changers as they know that they carry loads of cash on them. As a mining province, gold dealers were also being targeted lately.
“We therefore, urge people not to keep money in homes or carry huge amounts of cash on them to avoid such mishaps,” said Insp Goko.
He confirmed a case where 15 suspected robbers pounced on a gold dealer and made away with US$37 000 recently.
“The masked robbers shot dogs at Elliot Chihwende’s house in Kwekwe and tortured his wife who was at home during the time before they got away with US$37 000.
“Five of the robbers have since been arrested and are assisting police with investigations.
“We have recorded a sharp increase in cases of armed robbery in the recent days.
“Power cuts have not helped matters as these robbers pounce on people, especially those who travel at night and in the dark.”
Insp Goko said car break-ins were also on the rise.
“We continue to urge people not to leave valuables in their vehicles as the robbers are also targeting laptops, cellphones and other valuables that are left in vehicles, we urge the public not to leave valuables in vehicles.
“We also urge members of the public to desist from walking in the dark or secluded areas but to travel in groups.”
Meanwhile, Inspector Goko said cases of machete attacks in the province have declined sharply owing to awareness campaigns and engagement programmes carried by police in the province.
“We are glad to state that the murder cases involving dangerous weapons have decreased sharply.
“This, after we carried out awareness campaigns and engaged the members involved.
“The results are really positive as we have seen a sharp decline in the cases and this is a positive development.
“We continue to urge the public to solve their differences amicably without use of force,” he said.
Insp Goko said the prohibition order on the banning of dangerous weapons was still in place.
“We discovered that the machetes, catapults, knobkerries, swords, spears and daggers, among others, were no longer being used in their correct places, so as a precautionary measure, we have banned the carrying of such weapons.
“Police will continue with their stop and search patrols until the situation is back to normalcy,” he said.