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Fake cops on robbery spree

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A Harare man masquerading as a policeman robbed two cellphone airtime dealers of nearly $34 000 in a space of four days last month.

Richard Timba (40), of Queensdale, was arrested on June 12 and appeared before regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire yesterday. He was remanded in custody to today.

The State alleges that on May 3 at around 18:30hours Timba and his accomplice, who is still at large, hatched a plan to rob Lovemore Matekwe, an airtime dealer.

It is alleged that the two were driving an unregistered Nissan Sunny vehicle when they arrived at Budiriro Shopping Centre.

They confronted the complainant, accusing him of illegal trading.

They had presented themselves as Zimbabwe Republic Police members after producing fake identity cards.

It is alleged that the complainant initially resisted arrest, but was assaulted, handcuffed and bundled into the two’s vehicle.

They allegedly drove to an open ground in Glen Norah where they searched him and made off with $5 300, a Nokia 1280 cellphone and recharge cards worth $3 600.

In another case, Timba and his accomplice allegedly pounced on Mercy Kawanza of Sunningdale using a different vehicle.
They allegedly waylaid her as she arrived from work and again, masqueraded as police members.

They allegedly demanded to know her husband’s whereabouts, saying they wanted to question him in connection with a drug case.

Kawanza reportedly tried to phone her husband, but was allegedly slapped by Timba and bundled into the getaway car.

Kawanza said Timba indicated they were going to Waterfalls Police Station.

Instead, the accused reportedly drove to the SPCA premises near Sunningdale 3 turn-off where they allegedly ordered the complainant to surrender her two bags.

According to the State, one of the bags contained $9 600 and a smaller one had $4 800.

In addition, they also made away with recharge cards valued at $7 800.

It is not clear in the court papers how Timba was finally arrested.

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