FOUR police detectives at Highlands Police station in Harare have been arrested on allegations of recovering a safe containing US$70 000 stolen by a maid and gardener from a house in Belvedere and subsequently stealing the money themselves.
Detective Assistant Inspector Edward Mateta and Detective Constables Tinashe Matongo, Princess Mavis Matikiti and Costa Davison have been arrested while police are still looking for the fifth suspect, Detective Sergeant Rodrick Njanja Libonzi.
The four were yesterday still in custody and are expected in court soon.
Sources close to the investigations said on July 3, a housemaid and a gardener stole a safe that was containing the cash and jewellery from their employer in Belvedere before hiding it in a compost heap in Vainona.
The employer then made a report at Harare Central Police Station.
Investigations revealed that the detectives from Highlands Police received information that the gardener and the housemaid were in possession of the safe and jewellery.
They went to a house in Vainona where they interrogated the housemaid’s husband who then showed them where the safe was hidden.
They took the safe to one of the police officers’ house where they opened it.
It is alleged that the four then connived to steal the contents of the safe and released the husband after giving him US$4 000 cash.
They then shared US$66 000 among themselves.
Acting on another tip off, police arrested the quartet on Saturday and follow ups were made leading to the recovery of the US$4 000, which had been hidden in a field.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations into the matter were in progress.
“We confirm receiving such a report and we are investigating the matter. We will however ensure that the law will take its course,” he said.
Meanwhile, the seven security guards from Securico Security Services who were taken in for questioning by the police following a brazen cash-in-transit heist in which four men pounced on a Securico CIT vehicle before casually seizing two trunk-loads of cash amounting to US$91 980 and $514 840 at Newlands Shopping Centre in Harare are still assisting police with investigations.
The seven — comprising six women and a man who was the driver of the CIT vehicle — are still assisting police with investigations following the movie-style robbery which was executed with swift precision at about 11am on Thursday at an automated teller machine at Standard Chartered Bank.
Asst Comm Nyathi said police were exploring all possibilities including the suspicion that the robbery could have been an inside job or that there was a leakage of information that led to the robbery.
Following the robbery, Closed Circuit Television footage emerged showing in graphic detail the incident.
From the sequence of events playing out on the video, it is clear that the suspects faced minimal resistance as they casually offloaded trunks of cash from the Securico vehicle.
The actions of the guards, supposedly trained to be equal to such scenarios, has set tongues wagging after they were captured on video running away as the suspects pounced.
In the CCTV footage that has been circulating on social media, only one suspect is seen disembarking from a white Honda Fit before the security guards who were manning the CIT vehicle fled in all directions, with no attempt whatsoever to confront the suspect.
The suspect, who was not armed, was later joined by some of his accomplices as they helped themselves to the cash.
In the video, it appears that no single shot was fired by the suspects to scare away the security guards.
Most of the people who reacted on social media said the alleged robbery was either well-planned or an inside job.
Police have since set up a Criminal Investigations Department (CID) crack team to launch a manhunt for the suspects who are still at large.