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Daring robbers roam Maseru, Hlotse

Tsitsi Matope

MASERU — Police are closely analysing two armed robbery cases reported this past week along the Mpilo road in Maseru, and in Hlotse.

Police say one of the armed robberies happened on Sunday at around 5pm when four armed men blocked the car of a 47-year-old Chinese man along the Mpilo Road.

The modus operandi, time and the daring nature of the crime in an area near the central business district are critical elements concerning the police.

Police spokesperson Inspector Thato Ramarikhoane said the victim reported that he was on his way to South Africa when a 4+1 taxi blocked his way.

“Four suspects emerged from the car and pointed guns at him before they immediately entered into his car. They searched him and got away with two mobile phones worth M9 000 and M5 200,” Ramarikhoane said.

In the Hlotse armed robbery report, a 43-year-old debt collector working for a wholesale in Maputsoe reported that all the M85 000 he had just collected from supermarkets that owed his company was stolen by two armed men.

Again the police are concerned about the time the crime occurred and the location.

Ramarikhoane said the debt collector and the company driver, aged 37, had travelled to deliver goods and collect some money on Tuesday morning.

“They had collected M85 000 when at around 8 am, they parked at a certain place in town. The driver decided to dash to the vehicle licensing offices to renew his license while the debt collector remained in the car to count the money he had just collected.”

Ramarikhoane said while he was in the middle of counting, two armed men wearing “cooper” hats to mask their faces, got into the truck.

“He said the two masked men threatened to shoot him and tied his hands before jumping off the truck with all the money.”

Ramarikhoane urged the public to be always be alert and ensure they take precaution to keep money and other valuables safe.

“People must stop creating opportunities for criminals because even in a public place where some people might feel safe, criminals can still take advantage of opportunities and rob them. It is also not wise to immediately bank large sums of collections.”

He said counting money in public attracts criminals who might follow their victims until they are in secluded places where they can pounce on them.

Other gadgets that attract criminals, he said, are expensive mobile phones and iPads.

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