A GANG of 12 machete-wielding suspects linked to 16 armed robberies and two murders in Bindura and Shamva has been arrested on charges of armed robbery. One of the suspects was on bail in a case linked to the murder of two soldiers in Bindura last year.
Four of the suspects were apprehended on 29 December in Shamva while eight others were arrested on 30 December in Mt. Darwin following a tip-off to police detectives by the public.
The eight suspects were apprehended in a Toyota Wish which had temporary licence plates. Four machetes, three Colombia knives and one okapi knife hidden in the panels of the Toyota Wish were recovered.
Officer Commanding Mashonaland Central Province, Commissioner David Mahoya said the suspects are linked to 12 robbery cases in Mazowe, Shamva and Bindura as well as two murder cases.
“Interviews that were carried out with the eight suspects led to the accounting of other offences that had been carried earlier on as far as September which involved murders, armed robberies and other crimes,” Commissioner Mahoya said.
“The CID is investigating the matter and the suspects will appear in court soon. We are warning those people who commit crimes using machetes that in Mashonaland Central we will catch you,” he said.
Commissioner Mahoya expressed concern over vehicles with temporary plates that are being used indefinitely since criminals are taking advantage of them to commit crimes.
He said police can only retain vehicles for a short period of time once impounded but they have to be released after clearance in line with the law.
Authorities have witnessed the increase in crimes committed using machetes and other weapons such as knives, catapults, iron bars and knobkerries and are contemplating on making it an offense to be found with such weapons.