Seven members of a gang of armed robbers who were behind a spate of robberies were arrested while one was killed on Wednesday after police detectives cornered them at their hideout in Harare’s Kuwadzana 1 suburb.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) tracked down the suspects after one of them dropped his mobile phone at one of the houses they had robbed.
The suspects tried to flee from the police detectives and unwisely opened fire at the law enforcement officers. The detectives promptly returned fire and a shoot-out ensued. During the shootout a female armed robber, 20-year-old Lucy Nyakudya was shot in the chest. She died from the gunshot wound and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Sally Mugabe Hospital.
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The police managed to arrest the other 7 armed robbery suspects who include an 18-year-old. The suspects have been identified as:
- Kudzanai Manyonga (35)
- Tonia Farai Ndoro (27)
- Prosper Magwejani (44)
- Gilbert Chikukwa (54)
- Chancellor Thandi (40)
- Robinson Chinhuka (42)
- Amiah Chayi (18)
Part of a statement released by national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi reads,
On the 23rd of March 2021 at about 0300 hours the suspects together with Lucy Nyakudya (20) stormed a house in New Marimba, Harare armed with a big hammer, bolt cutter and a pistol before robbing the occupants US$500-00 cash, Itel P37 cell-phone with Econet line and a 42-inch Plasma television.
During the robbery, the complainant screamed for help prompting a tuck-shop worker to come outside to investigate. He met the suspects who fired a shot to scare him and they fled in a getaway car. The suspects dropped the stolen television and an Itel cell-phone belonging to one of the gang members at the scene.
Investigations by Police led to the identification of one of the suspects through the dropped cellphone. On 24th March 2021 Police Detectives made a follow up of the suspects in Kuwadzana 1, Harare and upon realising that they had been cornered two suspects fled in Mazda Altenza vehicle and a chase up ensued. The suspects fired shots towards the detectives resulting in a shootout.
They stopped their vehicle at Kuwadzana 2, Harare and the two were arrested before the recovery of a Smith and Wesson pistol with a magazine of three rounds. It was established that Lucy Nyakudya had a gunshot wound on the chest and she was rushed to Sally Mugabe Hospital where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Police investigations so far have linked the suspects to armed robbery cases which occurred in Spitzkop in Dzivarasekwa, Harare, Makaha area in Mutoko, Macheke and Hatfield in Harare.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is conducting operations to sniff out armed robbers countrywide and will not rest until such criminals are brought to book. Criminals are warned from resisting arrest and firing at Police as an appropriate measure of force will be retained.