Car burglar triggers US travel warning

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

A HARARE man whose CCTV footage of him breaking into a vehicle prompting the United States embassy to issue a travel warning to Zimbabwe appeared in court yesterday.

The CCTV footage captured the man smashing a car window and stealing a bag from the vehicle.

Michael Robinson (44), who is facing two counts of theft from motor vehicles appeared before magistrate Joy Chikodzore, who remanded him to today for bail ruling.

While applying for bail, Robinson said he was a candidate for bail since he is of a fixed abode.

But the investigating officer Artwell Chidziva told court that Robinson committed a serious offence and is clearly linked to the offence after being captured on camera, stealing from the motor vehicle.

Chidziva told the court that Robinson was once convicted of the same offence and has also a pending case before the same court of stealing from a motor vehicle.

“Your worship, the accused person is a serial burglar, he was once convicted of the same offence, he has a pending case before this court and a video which led to his arrests, stealing from a vehicle has since caused the issuance of a US travel warning to the country (Zimbabwe),” Chidziva said.

The investigation officer said upon searching at his residence, the police officers recovered various flash discs, curriculum vitae of several people and other properties which some of the owners have confirmed were stolen from break-ins on their vehicles.

Chikodzore rolled over the matter to today for bail ruling.

The complainants are Mohammed Ayobi and Tanatsirwa Rinomhota.

It is the State’s case that on May 14 this year, Ayobi parked his vehicle a Toyota Noah at Beverly Sky, Avondale in Harare before locking windows and doors. During the same period, Robinson, acting in connivance with his accomplices, Canaan Madamombe, Kudakwashe Ernest and one only known as Dumi, proceeded to the complainant’s vehicle and smashed the window and stole a black empty bag and went away.

The accused’s actions were captured on CCTV and the video went viral on social media, leading to his arrest at their home in Arcadia.

The State also alleges that on April 21 this year, Robinson with his accomplices, who are still at large, smashed a car window belonged to Rinemhota and stole various items that include mobile phones, necklaces, shoes and clothes. After Robinson’s arrest, Rinomhota was invited to the police to identify her items and she positively identified them.

Shepherd Makonde appeared for the State.

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