By Staff Reporter
POLICE in the Midlands province have warned members of the public to exercise caution when travelling as there is an increase of highway robbery cases involving armed criminals.
Midlands provincial police spokesperson Emmanuel Mahoko said: “There is an indication that robberies are on the rise in all areas across the Province. They used to be prevalent in places like dark alleys or thoroughfares leading to high density suburbs in towns. Currently, they have also become common in highways and other places.”
The robbers, according to Mahoko, are targeting motorists and people hitch – hiking for transport at undesignated places.
“These have proven to be easy targets as private motor vehicles are being used either being approached by criminals pretending to be genuinely looking for transport or while criminals themselves offer transport to unsuspecting travellers. Once they are out of public eyes, they pounce on their victims. In these instances, motor vehicles and valuable property are being stolen,” Mahoko warned.
Some of the undesignated transport pick up points being taken advantage of by criminals in picking their targets include Cathedral, Amtech, Wimpy, Showgrounds, Clonsilla, and Lower Gweru turn off in Gweru.
In Zvishavane undesignated pick-up points include GTS garage, Madeira, Chibuku turn off, Pote supermarket along Bulawayo Road and Rutenga road near Zvishavane town council. Travelers should also avoid places like Chikwingwizha turn off, Surprise shopping centre, Unki turn off and Mambowa shops along Gweru Shurugwi Road.
In Gokwe undesignated pick-up points are at Zuva service station and Zimpost.
“Members of the public undertaking journeys must always look for transport at designated places and ranks. The official public passenger service vehicles are buses and kombis with registration numbers written in red paint on a white colored plate. Let’s take all caution especially now,” he said.