The long arm of the law finally caught up with a daring car thief who engaged in a spate of robberies targeting marked police cars in Harare. Misheck Madzivadondo (32) allegedly stole the cars, which he would hot wire in the dead of the night.
Two cars were allegedly stolen from Highfield Police Camp while the third was stolen from Morris Depot on separate occasions. Madzivadondo even had the audacity to drive one of the stolen cars to Morris Depot where he allegedly wanted to engage in his criminal activities.
Using one of the vehicles, Madzivadondo went to Manyewe business centre and misrepresented himself as an official from the Anti-Corruption Commission. Madzivadondo then "arrested" a shop assistant for selling fertiliser in a shop, which was not a hardware outlet, before demanding a US$100 bribe to facilitate his release.
He was given US$40.
According to the State, Madzivadondo was arrested the same day while refuelling the vehicle.
Madzivadondo yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe charged with three counts of theft of a motor vehicle and one of extortion. He was remanded in custody to tomorrow when he would be furnished with his trial date.
Mr Mahwe advised him to apply for bail at the High Court due to the gravity of the offence. The first complainant is police officer John Dick, who stationed at Harare Central. Prosecutor Miss Junior Mugebe alleged that on December 11 last year, Dick parked his service vehicle a Nissan sunny registration number ZRP 171F at his place of residence in Highfield police new camp.
Madzivadondo, the court heard, went to the police camp around 4am and proceeded to Dick's house.
He used an unknown object to open the vehicle and used a screwdriver to start the engine. He then drove away.
It is the State's case that after one week Madzivadondo went to Morris Depot driving Dick's vehicle intending to steal.
He was seen by an alert officer, who raised alarm prompting Madzivadondo to take to his heels leaving the car.
On December 31, Madzivadondo, it is alleged, went back to Morris Depot and stole Learnmore Bere's service vehicle, a Mitsubishi Canter truck registration number ZRP 210E.
Bere is the officer-in-charge at the radio workshops at Morris Depot.
Madzivadondo broke the window and hot-wired the engine and drove away. The vehicle was later recovered at Mbare Musika with the battery and canopy missing.
It is further alleged that on January 12 this year, Madzivadondo proceeded to Highfield Police New Camp at 4am where he stole Kudakwashe Jasi's service vehicle, a Mazda B1600.
Using the Mazda B1600, Madzivadondo drove to Manyewe business centre in Mamina where he introduced himself as an official from Anti-Corruption Commission.