POLICE in Bulawayo have, after firing warning shots, arrested three suspected armed robbers who allegedly committed a series of robberies targeting money changers in and around the city.
Undercover police officers raided the armed robbers in a drama-filled incident in Emganwini suburb on Tuesday afternoon.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango yesterday confirmed the arrest of the three suspects.
“We’ve arrested three suspects in Emganwini suburb in connection with several robberies that occurred in Bulawayo and other areas out of the city. Police investigations are underway and the three will appear in court soon,” said Insp Simango.
Emganwini residents who witnessed the arrest said a gun shot was heard as two men came out of a Honda Fit running.
The residents said as the drama unfolded they quickly learnt that the escaping men were armed robbers being pursued by police.
They said residents joined law enforcement agents to chase after the suspects. The two arrested suspects led police to their alleged accomplice.
Mr Everson Mutsamba who was at the scene said the incident occurred near the shopping centre in the suburb.
He said two men who were in a black Honda Fit suddenly came out of the Honda Fit which was parked on the roadside after they realised that they had been cornered by the police.
Witnesses to the dramatic arrest Mr Raphael Ncube and Mr Everson Mutsamba
Mr Mutsamba said one of the suspects is heavily built and after police fired a shot into the air, he froze while his colleague kept on running but was apprehended in a nearby maize field.
“The gun shot drew residents closer to the action. Some of us observed everything from the point those two robbers came out of their black Honda Fit running as they tried to escape.
The police officers fired a shot into the air and one of the robbers who is heavily built stopped while his friend kept running. He was however caught less than 100 metres away,” said Mr Mutsamba.
He said after the two were arrested, members of the public wanted to assault them but they were stopped by the police officers.
Mr Ronald Chikwanda said following the arrest, residents were informed that the suspects were part of a syndicate of armed robbers who targeted osiphatheleni.
“We were told that they target osiphatheleni operating near Chicken Inn in the city centre.We also learnt that the gang used the Honda Fit for their illegal activities during the day and changed to a BMW at night,” said Mr Chikwanda.
A pirate taxi driver Mr Raphael Ncube said it was encouraging that police were cracking down on criminals saying not all the Honda Fit drivers are involved in criminal activities.
Yesterday a group of osiphatheleni demonstrated at Bulawayo Central Police Station protesting against the release of armed robbers saying they suspect the robbers were ‘buying their freedom’.
Police officers who attended to them urged them to make formal reports.