Robbers strike GMB depot, tie guards with ropes and get away with 29 tons of agricultural inputs


Swift police action leads to recovery of stolen agricultural inputs worth US$30,000 in Mvuma

In a swift response, the police in Mvuma, Midlands Province, successfully recovered 29 tonnes of agricultural inputs valued at US$30,000. The inputs had been stolen from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Charandura depot in Chirumanzu, leading to the subsequent arrest of five suspects. The arrests took place around 2:20 am on Friday as the suspects were attempting to flee to Harare along the Harare-Masvingo Highway in Mvuma.

Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko, the Midlands provincial police spokesperson, confirmed that the recovered inputs, along with a DAF 15-tonne truck used in the crime, are being held as exhibits at Mvuma Police Station. The arrested individuals have been identified as Tirayi Dzimangi (52) from Hatcliffe, Harare, Munesu Lazarous (37) from Zengeza 4, Chitungwiza, Harare, Jofile Magwadi (53) from 12th Street Hatcliffe, Harare, Titus Marange (34) from Village Makarara, Chief Marange, Mutare, and Stephen Nhamo (38) from Goodhope Lot 6 Westgate, Harare.

According to Inspector Mahoko, the incident occurred on Thursday at approximately 11:30 pm when the gang arrived at the GMB Charandura Depot. They encountered two security guards on duty and proceeded to cut the security fence to gain entry. The guards were then assaulted, bound with ropes, and left in a stormwater drain after having their mouths stuffed with cloth. The perpetrators located the gate keys, drove their truck into the depot, loaded 540 bags of compound D fertilizer and 17 bags of shelled groundnuts, and made their escape.

The crime was discovered shortly afterward by another security guard who had just returned from church. The guard promptly reported the incident to Charandura Police Station. The two assaulted guards were found in the stormwater drain and were subsequently taken to St Theresa Hospital for medical treatment.

Inspector Mahoko explained that the ZRP Charandura alerted their counterparts in Mvuma, who swiftly established an armed roadblock along the Harare-Masvingo Highway. Within a few minutes, a truck matching the given description approached at high speed from the direction of Masvingo. Despite police signals to stop, the truck failed to comply, leading the police to discharge shots that punctured one of the front wheels, causing the vehicle to come to a halt.

Three occupants of the truck immediately fled into the darkness. However, all the stolen inputs were recovered from the vehicle. Additionally, the police discovered a third number plate (AGA 9786) inside the truck, which differed from the front and rear number plates (AGJ 7169).

Inspector Mahoko called on the public to assist in the investigation of this seemingly sophisticated robbery. The successful recovery of the stolen agricultural inputs highlights the dedication and effectiveness of the police in combating crime and protecting valuable resources.

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