Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter
SEVEN daring armed robbers used dynamites to blow up a safe at a Mutare service station and got away with about US$6 000 in a recent midnight raid.
Police confirmed the robbery that happened at Plyport Service Station along Mutare-Chimanimani Road last Friday at around 2am.
Deputy Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Luxson Chananda, said the criminals attacked three workers at the service station and tied them up with cables.
Insp Chananda said Tatenda Masungo (29), who is employed as a security guard at the service station, heard some footsteps outside the office and went out to investigate.
While outside, he met three of the suspects who were advancing towards the office block.
One of the robbers was armed with a rifle, while the other two were armed with an axe and a pick.
“The three suspects apprehended him and dragged him into the office. Four other suspects came out of the darkness and joined their accomplices in the raid.
“They tied Masungo’s hands and legs using a cable. The robbers demanded keys to the safe, but the complainant told them that he did not have them. The suspects dragged him to the next office where one of the petrol attendants, Godfrey Nyasvimbo, was sitting. They ordered him to lie down and comply with their demands or risk being killed,” said Insp Chananda.
Nyasvimbo complied and the suspects went on to tie up his hands and legs.
The robbers demanded the safe keys, but Nyasvimbo did not have them.
“Two of the robbers then attacked a truck driver, Mashal Gafa (60), who was sleeping in a truck that was parked at the garage.
“They opened the unlocked door to the truck and gained entry. They demanded cash from the driver and he surrendered his wallet which had US$23 and $130,” said Insp Chananda.
He said the robbers proceeded to pound the safe with a hammer in an attempt to force it open, but they failed.
“They then took some dynamites and placed them near the key hole. They blasted the dynamites, but the safe door did not open.
“They loaded the dynamites for the second time and blasted the safe again, but the door still did not open. They resorted to pounding the safe again using a hammer. It eventually gave in and the door opened. They stole US$5850 which was in the safe,” said Insp Chananda.
After collecting the money, the suspects disappeared into the darkness.
Masungo then managed to untie himself and his colleagues.
He proceeded to ZRP Mutare Central and made a police report.