Gaborone West Police have arrested two armed robbers Thapelo Sebidio 35 and Joseph Ngayaya aged 46 in connection with attempted robbery at Wimpy Western-by-Pass.
The incident is said to have happened on Monday between 2 and 3am. It is alleged the culprits were six in number armed with pick-axes.
The two were arraigned before Village Magistrate Mmoloki Sibanda on Wednesday facing two charges of breaking into a building and malicious damage.
The Court heard that the accused persons and four others that were not before court on the 18th of this month at Wimpy acting together jointly in concert broke into the restaurant with intent to steal. On the second count Sebidio, Ngayaya and the other four allegedly willingly and unlawfully broke into Wimpy restaurant damaging alarm wires box, perimeter fence, trellidor doors, cash windows glasses all valued at P12 000.
State Prosecutor Inspector Phale pleaded with court not to grant the accused bail as the case was new and they just started their investigations two days back.
He said in the event that they are released on bail before the other four can be arrested, they were likely to temper with police investigations.
“The police found explosives at the scene and the accused are yet to tell the investigating officers where they bought them. We haven’t recorded statements for the possible witnesses as the security officers were still traumatised. A gun is suspected to have been used to scare the security officers and it is not yet discovered. We will bring the Investigating Officer in the next mention for bail argument,” said Phale
When asked if they had anything to say, Sebidio said he was a first offender. He said during arrest they were assaulted and the police refused to take them to the hospital. Ngayaya said he knew nothing about other suspects who were at large. He also demanded a quotation to be brought before court to prove costs of the damaged properties. He asked prosecution to contact his lawyer so that he can represent him in the next mention.
Magistrate ruled in favour of prosecution saying that in the interest of the public and administration of justice, the police were entitled to be given enough time to complete their investigations. He ordered that prosecution contact Ngayaya’s lawyer and take the two to the hospital for medical attention. Magistrate Sibanda remanded the accused persons and ordered them back in court on the 4th of June for mention.
Speaking to The Voice in an interview, Gaborone West Police Station Commander, Onious Madziba, confirmed the incident.
He said the security officers at the shop escaped and fortunately met with the police who were on patrol near West Gate Mall.
He said upon realising that the police were on their trail, the suspects hid in the nearest bush in Block 6.
“The Police Officers on patrol acted swiftly and called a helicopter to search for them. Before 7am they managed to arrest two of the suspects. We are also questioning a combi driver suspected to have been helping them with transport to commit the crime. They broke the door at Wimpy and gained entry but they couldn’t open the cash safe. Nothing was stolen. The police found pick-axes at the scene. The other four are still at large and we appeal to the public to contact us if they have information that may lead to their arrest,” said Madziba who however added that crime rate had generally gone down during lockdown.
So far only 450 cases of violation of State of Emergency regulations were registered, Madziba revealed.
The Station Commander said mostly the offences were of movements without permits, selling alcohol and illegal manufacturing of sanitizers.