Woman loses US$ 14 000 to lone robber
Flora Fadzai Sibanda, [email protected]
IN a well-orchestrated daylight robbery yesterday, a Bulawayo woman lost US$14 000, which she had just withdrawn from a local bureau de change after a knife-wielding suspect jumped into her car, stabbed her before snatching the money.
The victim whose identity police could not reveal, was briefly held hostage in her car by the lone robber before he stabbed and robbed her of the cash.
The incident occurred yesterday shortly before midday in the city centre. The victim had just withdrawn the money at around 11.40am when the suspect followed the woman to her car and pounced on her.
The woman had parked her car along Fife Street between 9th Avenue and 10th Avenue in the city centre.
The robbery comes barely a week after a foiled armed robbery by five armed suspects who attacked a security guard manning Agribank building in Lupane.
While inside, the gang blew a safe open, but they ran out of luck as police managed to pounce on them before they could take the money.
Police fired three warning shots resulting in one of the gang members being injured while his accomplices made good their escape. The suspect is recuperating at the local hospital under police guard. Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed yesterday’s robbery, saying investigations are underway.
“The complainant had gone to collect the money at Access Forex Finance bureau de change at around 11.40 am on behalf of her employer. ‘After collecting the money, the victim went to her car where she put the cash inside a food plastic container and wrapped it in a plastic paper,” he said.
Insp Ncube said the suspect who appeared to have been monitoring the woman’s movements immediately pounced on her.
“The suspect got into the victim’s car using the rear passenger door.
“While inside, the suspect pulled out a knife and demanded money,” he said.
When the victim tried to resist, the suspect stabbed her once on the left palm, once on the left thigh before he took the money, and an iPhone 11 cellphone and fled from the scene.”
The suspect is still at large and police have since launched a manhunt.
“As police we are appealing to anyone with information that could possibly lead to the arrest of the suspect to report to any nearest police station. We also urge members of the public and companies to always provide security when handling large sums of money,” said Insp Ncube.
In the last few months, the country has been recording an upsurge in the number of armed robberies.
Late last year, a National University of Science and Technology (Nust) final year student was axed and had one of his eyes plucked out by 10 armed robbers who had raided his family.
After the attack, the victim’s family was left traumatised and had to temporarily shift from their home fearing that the robbers would return.
In September last year, five suspects pounced on CBZ Bank’s Fife Street branch in Bulawayo and got away with more than US$90 000.
They masqueraded as genuine customers and queued just like everyone else in the banking hall. When they were about to be served, the quintet then pounced on the bank manager and got away with the money.
In 2020, the same bank’s 8th Avenue branch was robbed of $2,1 million, US$3 362 and R7 390 after six armed robbers attacked two security guards who were delivering Zupco’s weekend cash collections.
Only $11 305 was recovered at a disused house at a plot in the Douglasdale area in Bulawayo where the getaway car, a Nissan Hardbody and trunks used by the security company to carry cash were recovered.
The incident came barely a month after another raid at a local financial institution where four gun-wielding robbers got away with a total of US$100 000 and R500 000.
The gang had intercepted a cash-in-transit Safeguard vehicle outside a money transfer agency in the city centre.
A month earlier, armed robbers also raided the Mukuru branch along 13th Avenue, between Lobengula and Herbert Chitepo Street.
Following an increase in armed robbery cases, President Mnangagwa in August last year issued an amnesty to all members of the public who are in possession of unregistered firearms and ammunition to surrender them to the Zimbabwe Republic Police. – @flora_sibanda