SEVEN gun-toting robbers wearing balaclavas pounced on Flo Petroleum Service Station in Nyanga and made good their escape with US$20 000 on Tuesday night.
Manicaland deputy police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luxson Chananda confirmed the heist.
He said investigations are in progress.
Asst Insp Chananda appealed to members of the public with information leading to the arrest of the criminals to contact their nearest police station. He also discouraged business people from keeping large sums of money at their operating sites.
Asst Insp Chananda said the armed robbers executed the heist with rare precision and disappeared from the scene with their loot around 10pm.
“The seven were masked and armed with guns, iron bars and a hammer. When they pounced at Flo Petroleum Service Station, they stormed into a room where one Trust Magumbeze was sleeping in. The room is located at the service station.
“The criminals then ordered Magumbeze to remain quiet. They tied both his hands and legs, took his two cellphones and proceeded to another room, where Kenneth Chikwadada was sleeping.
“The robbers manhandled and tied Chikwadada up before seizing another cellphone and $130 from him,” he said.
Asst Insp Chananda said the armed intruders demanded to know the whereabouts of petrol attendant Jethro Mapfidza (52). The two victims subsequently directed their tormentors to a nearby house, where Mapfidza resides.
“They broke into the house, seized Mapfidza and started assaulting him. Two of the armed robbers produced a pistol and a rifle, cocked them and threatened to shoot Mapfidza if he refused to comply with their instructions.
The armed robbers demanded the safe keys.
When Mapfidza complied, the armed robbers headed for the safe and stole US$20 000. They also filled two 25 litre jerry cans with petrol, as well as their two get-away vehicles, before vanishing from the crime scene.
Passers-by later intervened and untied the victims before alerting the police,” he said. The value of petrol and items stolen could not be established by the time of going to print. Police has also not yet estalished if Flo Petroleum Service Station is licensed to sell fuel in foreign currency.
Ass Insp Chananda said they have since launched a manhunt to bring the culprits to book. He said the police are yet to verify if the safe and the stolen money belonged to Flo Petroleum Service Station.
— Manica Post