Police in Marondera have arrested a suspected serial car thief who masqueraded as a passenger and targeted pirate taxi drivers before getting off with their vehicles.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Walter Benjamin Changa (25) of Nyameni high-density suburb is currently in police custody facing two counts of vehicle theft.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) community relations and liaison officer, Detective Inspector Portia Chinho confirmed the arrest of Changa which led to the recovery of the two vehicles.
According to police, on July 26, at around 9:30pm the complainant was driving a Nissan Vannete from Harare to Macheke. He arrived at Ruzawi Service Station in Marondera and offered the accused a lift to Macheke.
But at Avoca Service Station, he left the keys in the ignition and went into the shop. Changa made off with the vehicle.
On the second count, on August 25, at around 7:15pm, the complainant, who is a pirate taxi driver, parked his Honda Fit at Zuva Service Station in Marondera waiting for passengers. It is reported that Changa approached the complainant and hired him to Rusike Phase 2.
The accused told the complainant that his aunt would pay the fare upon arrival.
It is alleged that upon arrival at the residence, the accused went behind the house and returned before telling the complainant that his aunt was having supper and would come to settle the fare.
The complainant reportedly disembarked so that he could relieve himself at the back of the vehicle, leaving the car keys in the ignition.
The suspect reportedly jumped into the driver’s seat, locked doors and drove off, leaving the complainant behind.
The complainant’s Huawei phone and $40 cash was stolen in the process.
On October 19, police received a tip-off from the public that led to the arrest of the accused and recovery of the Nissan Vanette at Zinyama Shop in Wedza, while the shell of the Honda Fit was discovered at K&R Investments also in Wedza.