Daring car parts thieves nabbed

HARARE - A suspected gang of thieves who allegedly sustained a living through selling car parts after stealing vehicles, stripping spares and burning the shells before burying the engine blocks underground to conceal evidence was dragged to court this week.

The syndicate — Charles Chakanetsa Dzumbunu, Joseph Nyamadzawo and Thomas Maruve — appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba, facing theft of motor vehicles charges.

According to prosecutor Patience Chimusaru, the trio allegedly pushed the cars out of the owners’ residence and would only drive after a distance long enough for them not to be detected.

After stripping the vehicles of parts for sale, the engine blocks and car shells would be disposed at farms in Beatrice and Nyamweda where they were eventually recovered by the police.

The cars included Mazda B16 and B18 trucks, two Toyota Noah vehicles and a Mazda Bongo van.

The trio denied the charges and claimed they were innocent purchasers of the car parts that they were found in possession of.

On one of the incidents which occurred on February 23 last year, Berkista Nyadembera’s driver Fungai Kandikore parked his boss’s Mazda Bongo at his residence after securing the vehicle.

That same night, the court heard, Dzumbunu and his accomplices reportedly forced open the car using an unknown object and drove it away.

They reportedly drove the car to Nyamadzawo’s homestead and stripped it of parts before taking the vehicle shell to Christ Secondary School in Beatrice and burnt it.

It was alleged that the trio then took off the engine block and buried it underground at Nyamadzawo’s yard to allegedly conceal evidence.

On October 19, detectives from CID Vehicle Theft Squad received information that Dzumbunu and his gang had stolen Nyadembera’s car and proceeded to arrest him at his homestead.

The court heard that Dzumbunu then implicated his accomplices and the Mazda Bongo engine block was recovered from Nyamadzawo’s yard.

The car was valued at $6 000 and $800 worth of spares were recovered.

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