Serial car thieves in court after rampage

…but some suspects still at large

By Judith Nyuke

Two men allegedly involved in a series of vehicle thefts in Harare, targeting unsuspecting drivers and parked vehicles, have been arraigned by the courts.

John Nhira and Innocent Chigwaze appeared before Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje charged robbery and theft of a motor vehicle charges this Thursday.

They were remanded in custody and the matter was rolled over to 13 February.

The State represented by Anesu Chirenje alleges that on 20th day of December 2023, accused persons hired the complainant’s motor vehicle a blue Toyota IST from Zindoga Shopping Centre, Waterfalls, Harare to Epworth.

The complainant agreed and accused got into the complainant’s motor vehicle.

According to court papers, the complainant then drove towards Epworth using the Masotcha Ndlovu Road and along Masotcha Ndlovu, Waterfalls, Chigwaze who was occupying the rear passenger seat behind the driver suddenly grabbed the complainant by the neck and informed him that they were robbers and went on to threaten to kill him if he resisted.

The complainant complied and stopped the motor vehicle. Nhira who was occupying the front passenger seat got out of the motor vehicle and dragged the complainant out of the car. The two dumped the complainant along Matsocha Ndlovu, Waterfalls, Harare and drove off the complainant’s motor vehicle at a high speed leaving complainant stranded at the scene.

On 27 December 2023, the stolen car was recovered without its engine and gearbox at accused’s last place of residence in Darwendale, Zvimba, Chinhoyi District by Detectives from CID VTS Harare but accused persons could not be located.

The State also alleges that on 13 December 2023, during the night the accused persons who were accompanied by their accomplice only known as Magwejani who is still at large approached the complainant Tawanda Pamire’s parked motor vehicle a silver Honda Fit at Number 24 Makiyoni Street, Mbare Harare.

They stole complainant’s motor vehicle using some duplicate keys and drove away unnoticed. Complainant discovered the offence the following day and made a report at ZRP Stodart.

On 27 December 2023, the stolen motor vehicle was recovered intact at accused’s last place of residence in Darwendale, Zvimba, Chinhoyi District by Detectives from CID VTS Harare but accused persons could not be located.

It is further alleged that on 2 January 2024, during the night the accused persons who were accompanied by their accomplices only known as Magwejani and Chancellor Tande who is still at large acting in common purpose, approached the complainant Albert Marozva’s parked motor vehicle, a white Toyota Hiace at Open Space car Park, Warren Park, Harare.

They used duplicate keys to open the doors and stole the complainant’s motor vehicle. They then drove away unnoticed. Complainant discovered the offence and made a report to the Police at ZRP Warren Park.

It is also the State’s case that on 22 January 2024 during the night, the accused persons who were accompanied by their accomplice only known as Ashley acting in common purpose, approached the complainant Sydney Mutezo’s parked motor vehicle, a yellow Toyota Hiace kombi at Kuwadzana 3 Car Park, Harare, used duplicate keys to open the card doors, started the engine and drove away unnoticed.

On 23 January 2023, the accused persons were arrested in Warren Park by members of the public after they had stolen another Toyota Hiace combi and the stolen motor vehicle was subsequently recovered from the accused persons.

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