POLICE in Bulawayo are investigating a case in which a woman lost her vehicle, cell phone and more than 6 000 rands in cash to robbers at her home in Nkulumane on Sunday.
The robbers jumped into the woman’s Honda Accord vehicle, which she had left idling while opening the gate.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner, Charity Charamba, urged motorists to be careful and secure their vehicles all the time to avoid such incidents.
“We are urging members of the public to ensure safety of their vehicles by locking doors and removing keys from the ignition hole when parking even for a short while. This will go a long way in curbing cases of theft of motor vehicles where thieves jump into unattended idling motor vehicles and drive off.
“This warning comes after a case of theft of a motor vehicle which occurred in Nkulumane, Bulawayo on December 9, 2018 at around 5.45PM, where a Honda Accord motor vehicle, registration number AEY 1036, was stolen,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
She said the complainant stopped outside her gate and disembarked from the vehicle to open the gate, leaving the ignition key on.
“During the process, unknown accused persons got inside the vehicle and drove off at high speed. Apart from the vehicle, the complainant lost several school uniforms, cell phone, cash – 6 000 rands, 70 United States dollars, $800 bond notes, 180 Pula and identity cards.
“Members of the public are urged not to leave their vehicles idling as they get access into their premises. When driving into gated premises, someone should open the gate if possible. It’s also imperative that motor vehicle owners install alarms and car tracking systems,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
She appealed to anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects and recovery of the vehicle to assist the police by contacting their nearest police station.
Meanwhile, Keith Nkala (18) of 632 Nketa 8 in Bulawayo has been sentenced to 60 months in prison for theft of a vehicle.
Bulawayo provincial CID community relations and liaison officer Detective Inspector Portia Chinho said Nkala was arrested in a matter in which the complainant is a pirate taxi driver who uses his Honda Fit as a pirate taxi.
“On October 4, 2018 at around 2AM, the complainant was at Makoni Shops in Pumula South, Bulawayo, when he was hired by the suspect to Queens Park West, Bulawayo.
“When they were near a railway flyover along Robert Mugabe Way, Tegela, Bulawayo, the complainant’s vehicle developed a mechanical fault. The complainant pulled off the road and disembarked from the car leaving the keys in the ignition with the engine running,” said Det Insp Chinho.
She said when the complainant was busy attending to the car, the suspect took advantage of the situation, jumped over to the driver’s seat and drove off leaving the complainant behind.
“Nkala got away with other valuables that were inside the car, which include a Nokia cell phone, Samsung cell phone and cash amounting to $50 bond notes.
“On the same day at about 2.30PM, police detectives arrested him, leading to the recovery of the stolen motor vehicle. He was taken to court and sentenced to 60 months in prison,” she said.
Det Insp Chinho urged motorists not to leave keys on the ignition or leave strangers in their cars or anywhere near the car when not locked.
She also applauded members of the public for their support and co-operation in providing information which led to the arrest of the suspect.
Source: The Chronicle