DARING thieves pounced on two shops under the nose of the police in Harare in the early hours yesterday and got away with more than $30 000 in cash, it has been learnt.
The thieves used explosives to break a safe in one of the grocery shops.
When NewsDay visited Marimba shopping centre in Belvedere, yesterday, police, whose satellite camp is adjacent to the shop — Marimba Spar — were milling around at the crime scene.
Debris from the explosion was strewn all over the first floor of the building where the safe was kept and a gaping hole was clearly visible on one of the outer walls of the building on the same floor.
Marimba Spar manager Emmanuel Majaji said the police informed them that they had not heard any sound out of the ordinary, but only a loud thud when the explosion ripped apart two walls inside the building and so they did not immediately attend to the scene.
Majaji narrated how the thieves could have gained access into the building.
“They could have broken into the offices through the roof and set up their explosives using torch cells which they left at the scene. The bolts on the doors of the office where the safe is kept were cut and this must be how they gained access into the room,” Majaji said.
“They connected the battery cells in a separate room with wires that led to the safe. As you can see, they took bags of mealie meal from the store and they must have put them on top of the explosives to muffle the sounds because no one outside was able to hear anything. Some people said they just heard a slight thud, but nothing serious enough to raise alarm.”
In a rush to escape the crime scene, the thieves left behind a screwdriver and a pick-head.
They also left behind a black jacket, a Zambian national identification document and a Zambian emergency travelling document.
The thieves also broke into ZimSpice, a condiments shop close to Marimba Spar and allegedly broke two safes, but the amount of money they stole from the shop could not be established as the shop was not open for business.