POLICE officers at Mutare Main Camp were left puzzled after a vehicle that had been impounded by national highway traffic cops and escorted to the camp for safe-keeping was stolen while in police custody.
Upon arrest for violating various traffic offences, the owner of the car, Augustine Zvavemwenya (34) of House Number 409 Chikanga, failed to pay a $35 spot fine resulting in his Nissan Blue Bird sedan (ADG 7105) being impounded.
Zvavemwenya spent three days looking for money to pay the fine. When he finally paid the fine and received back his car keys, he got the shock of his life after he failed to locate his vehicle.
A car theft docket was quickly opened at Mutare Central Police Station. Deputy Manicaland police spokesman, Assistant Inspector Luxon Chananda, could not comment on the case saying he is yet to receive a report on the matter.
However, a police source privy to the case said the theft of the vehicle caused headaches at the Main Camp as it revealed security loopholes.
Circumstances to the case are that on August 2, 2017, Zvavemwenya was stopped at a roadblock near the Christmas Pass junction at around 1pm. The roadblock was being manned by national highway patrol traffic cops.
“The vehicle was inspected by Assistant Inspector Madzima who observed that it had no valid vehicle licence, fire extinguisher and red reflective triangles. The cops demanded $35 for the offences. Zvavemwenya had no money, resulting in his car being escorted to the Main Camp under the watchful eye of Constable Spini,” said the police source.
At the Main Camp, Zvavemwenya removed his valuables from his vehicle and surrendered the car keys to Constable Spini. He locked all the doors and windows and went away leaving the car in the custody of Constable Spini.
Three days later, he came back at around 12 noon and contacted Constable Spini advising him that he wanted to pay the fine.
He duly paid the fine and was handed back his car keys.
“He went to where he had left his vehicle but he could not find it and informed Constable Spini on the shocking discovery. They looked for the vehicle together around the Main Camp but they could not find it,” said the source.
A police report was made on the very same day. However, two days later, the vehicle was found dumped at the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services mess which is located near Mutare Central Police Station.
Detectives attended the scene and did some investigations, dusting the vehicle for finger prints but no latent prints were uplifted since the car was dusty.
Zvavemwenya who positively identified his car alleged that he was missing a tool box, 5 litres oil, air filter and an oil filter which were in the boot of the vehicle.
Detectives are investigating the case.