POLICE in Bulawayo have recorded 20 cases of theft from vehicles within three days in the city’s Central Business District with $10 000 being stolen in the process.
The theft incidents are said to have occurred between Friday and Sunday.
Bulawayo deputy police spokesperson Inspector Abednego Ncube said a gang of eight, which is yet to be arrested, has been linked to the crimes.
“Police are investigating 20 cases of theft from vehicles with more than $10 000 being stolen in the process. We believe there is an upsurge in these cases.
“Our preliminary investigations point to the fact that there is a group of eight people who will be driving in four vehicles in the city who are linked to these crimes,” said Insp Ncube.
“Each vehicle would be having its driver and a thief who breaks into the targeted car. These criminals have the guts to even smash windows to commit crimes before speeding off in their cars.”
He said police are convinced that the criminals are targeting illegal money changers that are now operating from their vehicles to evade being arrested.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has used temporary powers to promulgate a new law that will see illegal currency traders being sentenced to up to 10 years in jail, while ill-gotten wealth will be confiscated.
Parliament needs to approve the law within six months to make it permanent.
Insp Ncube said police were worried that members of the public were not heeding law enforcement agents’ calls to avoid keeping large sums of money in their vehicles.
“Most of these cases occur in areas where there are high activities of illegal money changers. And it is our firm belief that these criminals would be following some of these illegal changers from where they operate from. Most of the cases occur near big supermarkets such the parking lot near OK Jason Moyo Street and near TM Pick n Pay shops when the (vehicle) owners would have entered the shops,” said Insp Ncube.
He warned the criminals that the law would soon catch up with them.
Insp Ncube encouraged members of the public to consider banking their money to avoid losses.
Source: The Chronicle