The Zimbabwe Republic Police has urged members of the public to be wary of criminals who have devised a new method of stealing vehicles in which they will get involved in a “minor accident” with the targeted car before robbing the owner.
This also comes after there has been an increase in theft of cars recorded in Harare over the weekend.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said they had since increased patrols and will continue conducting an operation targeting unregistered vehicles which they believe are being used by criminals.
He said on October 19, in Chitungwiza area, unknown crim
“The robbers pretended as if they had been involved in an accident with the Toyota Hiace before the occupants disembarked to check on what had transpired. During the process one of the robbers jumped into the Toyota Hiace while his other accomplices got into their getaway vehicle and drove off,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
In another incident, a motorist lost his Nissan Hardbody vehicle after offering a lift to three armed robbers from Chinhoyi.
Asst Comm Nyathi said another Toyota Landcruiser was stolen while parked at a house in Highlands during the night while another vehicle was also stolen from a car park in Southerton area.
He said a Toyota Runx was stolen at a house in Greendale while it was parked during the night.
“Criminals are now targeting vehicles parked in the CBD, car parks and residential areas while others pretend to be genuine passengers before robbing the owners of their vehicles.
“Some pretend to have been involved in accidents in a bid to rob the owners and we would want to encourage members of the public to be alert,” he said.
He said when driving they should constantly check their rear view mirrors to check if they are being followed and to contact the police if they are involved in accidents.
“We have since intensified our patrols and surveillance. We are also going to intensify our operation targeting motor vehicles without registration number plates and we want to urge the public to cooperate,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
Last month, the Zimbabwe Republic Police expressed concern over an increase in carjacking and urged the public to be wary of criminals targeting vehicles countrywide.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said it was investigating a number of cases whereby motorists have lost their vehicles to criminals in separate incidents.
They said motorists should exercise due diligence and ensure that their vehicles were well secured.
The motorists should also avoid leaving keys in the ignition port and leaving strangers in their cars.
In a statement, CID spokesperson Detective Inspector Portia Chinho advised motorists to install alarm systems, tracking devices and anti-hijack systems on their vehicles.
Source: The Chronicle