Robbers strike Nyazura service station

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FIVE robbers who were armed with guns and a hammer pounced on a Nyazura service station last week on Saturday and got away with US$5 600 cash.

They also hijacked and kidnapped the driver of the pirate taxi they used as a getaway car.

The thugs allegedly fired two shots to subdue the staff at Energy Park Service Station and forced them to load a heavy safe into their getaway vehicle, before fleeing from the scene.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Norbert Muzondo confirmed the robbery and said police are working round the clock to bring the suspects to book.

“On November 26, five unknown armed robbers approached two security guards, Mr Denzel Takuaranei and Mr Josiah Mazuri at Energy Park Service Station asking for water. They indicated that their motor vehicle, a silver Mercedes’ Benz C200, Registration Number AFL0597, was over-heating. They were told that there was no water at the service station.

“The robbers requested to leave their car at the service station for safekeeping and were charged US$2 by Mr Mazuri. They asked for change from a fuel attendant, Mr Revai Chibore. Three of the suspects then produced rifles and Mr Chibore fled and locked himself in a toilet. One of the suspects fired two shot shots through the toilet door as he ordered Mr Chibore to open the door. He, however, refused,” said Inspector Muzondo.

It is alleged that one of the robbers took a hammer from their vehicle and struck the door open.

“They force-marched the guards into the toilet. They ordered them to lie down and heavily assaulted them. One of the suspects remained in the toilet guarding the staff, while the others went to the manager’s office which was unlocked.

“They tried to lift a homemade safe which was not mounted on the wall but failed to do so. They force-marched the staff members from the toilet and forced them to lift the safe. The safe, however, failed to fit into the boot of their vehicle,” said Inspector Muzondo.

He said the robbers approached a pirate taxi driver, Mr Munyaradzi Stacia, who was sleeping in a Toyota Noah vehicle.

They pretended like they wanted to hire him to Rusape.

“As they were negotiating the fee, the robbers produced their rifles and ordered him to get out of the car. They dragged him to the back seat of the vehicle. The robbers then loaded the safe into Mr Stacia’s vehicle.

“They drove the two cars towards Rusape and upon reaching the 185.5km peg, they offloaded the safe and rolled it in the bush. Some of the suspects were left behind while pounding the safe. Some of the robbers drove into Tiny Road for about 300m before dumping Mr Stacia and his vehicle,” said Inspector Muzondo.

He said the robbers then made a U-turn and drove to where they had left their colleagues.

Upon reaching the 184km peg, the driver failed to negotiate a curve and encroached into the opposite lane.

He side-swept a Harare-bound bus and the vehicle veered off the road. They abandoned the vehicle and disappeared into the bush.

“A total of US$5 595 was stolen and nothing was recovered. The Toyota Noah vehicle, valued at US$4 000, was recovered,” said Inspector Muzondo. – Manica Post