Suspected iPhone thief appears in court after snatching incident in Harare
In a daring incident that unfolded in Harare’s bustling avenues area, a suspected thief was brought before Harare magistrate Sharon Rakafa yesterday to face charges of theft. Oliver Rimai, a 43-year-old man, stands accused of snatching an iPhone from a woman while she was driving along 7th Street. The court remanded Rimai in custody until February 26, pending further investigations.
According to the State’s allegations, the incident occurred on February 1 at approximately 7:45 pm. Chido Mnangagwa, driving her Mercedes-Benz, had come to a halt at a set of traffic lights on 7th Street, preparing to turn left onto Hebert Chitepo Avenue. It is during this momentary pause that Rimai allegedly seized the opportunity to strike.
Rimai, known to target motorists at traffic lights, swiftly reached through the open passenger’s side window and snatched Mnangagwa’s iPhone 15 Pro Max before making a hasty escape. However, Chido Mnangagwa immediately advised her brother Tichaona Viano about the incident. Viano sprang into action, pursuing the suspect and successfully apprehending him. The stolen iPhone, valued at US$1,900, was recovered before Rimai was handed over to the police.
In a separate incident, Rimai stands accused of committing a similar crime at the intersection of 6th Street and Samora Machel Avenue. Uzziel Maukola had parked his vehicle with the windows open while making a phone call when Rimai allegedly struck again. This time, he managed to steal a Samsung S23 Ultra and a Samsung 4 Smart watch, amounting to a total value of US$2,250.
Uzziel Maukola, vigilant and determined not to let the thief escape, gave chase as Rimai fled along 6th Street and subsequently turned into Central Avenue. During his pursuit, Maukola encountered a woman who positively identified Rimai as the culprit. Realizing the severity of the situation, Maukola promptly reported the incident to the police, ensuring that justice would be served.