Car thief gets 11-year jail term

HARARE - A 23-year-old car thief, who went on a robbing spree stealing cars armed with a duplicate key for Toyota vehicles, was slapped with an 11-year prison term.

Garikai Chakwizira of Waterfalls, Harare, was convicted on three counts of theft of a motor vehicle and another three for driving without a driver’s licence.

Harare magistrate Arnold Maburo suspended two-and-half years of Chakwizira’s jail term on condition of good behaviour.

For driving without a licence, Chakwizira was ordered to pay a $300 fine.

Prosecutor Idah Maromo urged the court to impose a stiffer penalty because “Chakwizira had started his criminal career at the deep end”.

“What the accused person did clearly shows that the offence was premeditated as the accused person had sourced for two duplicate car keys for Toyota vehicles and went around stealing cars,” Maromo said.

“Imagine the trauma and anxiety that complainants went through after discovering that their vehicles had vanished from where they kept them. The court should not let such conduct go unpunished.

“A deterrent sentence is called for to send a message to like-minded individuals that crime does not pay.”

The first complainant was Tatenda Muripira, 28, Mt Pleasant in Harare.

On August 27 this year, around 10pm, Muripira was driving his Toyota Corona and parked it at City Sports Centre, while he attended a gig.

Muripira secured all windows and doors before going into the City Sports Centre for a music show with his friends.

Inside the car were two smart phones and personal particulars.

Chakwizira then arrived at the scene armed with a duplicate Toyota vehicle ignition key and force opened the door before driving away.

After the gig, Muripira returned where he had parked his car but it was nowhere to be found.

He reported the case at Milton Park Police Station and on September 23, the stolen car was recovered dumped near Total Service Station, in St Mary’s, Chitungwiza.

The car radio, battery and two cell phones that were in the car were missing.

The second complainant was David Kaitano, 56, of Chitungwiza and on September 9, he parked his Toyota Dyna at a Total Service Station at the corner of Sam Nujoma and Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.

When Kaitano got into the service station kiosk to buy bread, Chakwizira used a duplicate Toyota key and drove away with the car.

Kaitano reported the matter at Harare Central Police Station and on September 13, the stolen car was recovered dumped at the corner of Dumukwa Road and Nhanga Street in Zengeza.

A set of spanners, spare wheels, hydraulic jack, fire extinguisher and two batteries had been stolen.

On the third incident, John Chiradza, 58, had parked his Toyota Hilux at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospital intending to see a relative who was admitted there.

Chakwizira approached Chiradza’s car and forcibly opened the door before entering.

He then started the vehicle and as he drove out of the parking bay Chiradza returned prompting Chakwizira to stop the car and run away.

Chiradza shouted for help and Chakwizira was arrested by security guards at the hospital before being handed over to the police post.

Chakwizira was searched and found with another duplicate key.

He admitted to the offences and led cops to the recovery of stolen property that had been sold to various individuals.

Comments (2)

Only $300 for risking running over pedestrians or being involved in an accident by driving without a license? I think the fine should not be an option - these ruffians need to taste jail for 3 months so that the sentence is truly deterrent.

Sagitarr - 24 October 2016

This one must be a member of a certain well known political party which uses youths to commit crimes . No names mentioned.

Lol - 24 October 2016

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