Robbers on the prowl in residential areas — police

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Robbery cases in residential areas are on the increase, with the figure rising from 196 in 2010 to 230 this year.

Harare police provincial spokesperson Inspector James Sabau said the increase had become cause of serious concern to the police.

“Police in Harare are warning members of the public to be on the lookout for armed and plain robbery criminals who are targeting residential places during the day and immediately after sunset,” Sabau said, adding that most robberies took place between 18:30hrs and 21:00hrs in the low-density areas.

“Criminals are gaining entry into houses through open or unlocked doors as people will be watching television or cooking in their kitchens. They are getting into houses armed with knives, axes, iron bars, catapults and at times pistols.

“We are urging members of the public to lock their doors when it gets dark.”

Sabau said it was disturbing to note that after being robbed, people chose to phone security companies instead of calling the police who should be the first to investigate.

“We are disturbed that some people trust to first phone security company reaction teams instead of the police, ” he said.

“This has resulted in us failing to account for robbers whom we could possibly arrest easily had the communication been quick.”