HARARE – An armed robber who stormed into a Warren Park supermarket and fired shots before his accomplices dashed off with cash-loaded till boxes has been jailed for seven years.
Harare magistrate, Nomsa Sabarauta, convicted the robber — Lawrence Wilson — of theft, robbery in aggravating circumstances, unlawful entry and illegal possession of a fire arm.
He was initially sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for all the counts before two were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
Wilson and accomplices had stolen the gun from 35-year-old January Emmanuel of Westlea Harare, during a robbery.
On November 20, at around midnight, Emmanuel arrived at his house and secured his car and a 6.35mm CZ pistol in the glove compartment before retiring to bed.
In the company of Tinashe Tagwireyi, who has also been jailed, and Wallace Kasina, yet to be tried, Wilson pounced on Emmanuel. The trio jumped over the precast wall and broke into a Mazda Familia and Nissan Sylphy that were parked in Wilson’s yard.
They stole the gun from the Mazda Familia and spare wheels and batteries from both cars.
When Emmanuel woke up later that morning, he discovered that he had been robbed and reported the matter to the police.
At around 8pm the following day, Wilson and crew proceeded to Price Paradise Grocery Shop and Butchery in Warren Park armed with the stolen pistol. When they arrived, Faith Ngwenya, 17, a till operator was in the shop when Wilson produced the pistol, pointed it at her before firing a shot in the air, demanding cash.
The trio took two till point cash boxes containing $190 and ran away towards Warren Hills Cemetery.
Members of the public tried to give chase and one of the accused persons dropped one of the till’s cash boxes and another shot was fired into the air to scare the pursuing public away.
The total value stolen was $490 and $235 was recovered. On November 25, the gang also pounced on Ralph Tendai Buwerimwe at his residence in Greencroft, Harare. Wilson and his gang jumped over the precast wall and forcibly opened the main door and gained entry into the house.
They stole a G-Tel cell phone and laptop before leaving the premises unnoticed.
On November 29, detectives from CID Homicide arrested Kasina and Tagwireyi at their place of residence and recovered the pistol hidden under the latter’s pillow.
Further investigations led to the recovery of the G-Tel cellphone and laptop.
The till cash box was recovered discarded in Warren Hills Cemetery.