Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Police on high alert as criminals terrorise Francistown

Police in Francistown are reportedly working round the clock on the trail of serial robbers who have unleashed a reign of terror on Francistown residents.

Sunday Standard is informed that following a number of vehicle hijackings, murders, robberies and house breakings, the police have been told not to sleep a wink until the criminals are brought to book.

The state of emergency follows a number of high profile criminal offences that occurred in Francistown over the last week.
Last week, Kutlwano Police Station Commander, Silton Fidzani, expressed worry at the increasing number of armed robberies and vehicle theft cases in Francistown.

This came after a 25-year-old man sustained minor head injuries after he was attacked by thugs around 10 o’clock on Monday night while trying to enter his house in Block 3. The thugs smashed the windscreen of his car before assaulting him and running off with his Mitsubishi Pajero SUV. The police superintendent also revealed that cases of vehicle theft in his precinct recently escalated to worrying statistics. He added that other police stations in Francistown have also reported an increase in the number of vehicle theft cases.

“It is now the norm that a gang of criminals in Francistown is going around hijacking people’s cars and dumping them at different places,” he said.
Fidzani added that the police suspect that the culprits steal the vehicles and use them as get away cars after committing crimes in different areas.

“Most of the vehicles are usually found dumped at different locations,” he said.
Last weekend, a 22-year-old man was hijacked and killed by unknown assailants along the Francistown-Tonota highway. It is reported that the man and his companion were pounced upon by a gang of three criminals when they had stopped their car to relieve themselves along the road. The men reportedly went off with the deceased’s Toyota Camry. The car was later recovered outside Palapye and has been confirmed to have been used in another criminal offense there.

The same gang would later assault and rob a truck driver in Palapye. Station Commander Elias Malope of Palapye police station told The Sunday Standard last week that the three men attacked a truck driver and stole his money and clothes after beating him up in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“The men were reportedly brandishing knives and screwdrivers,” he said.

Malope added that the men then abducted a woman who was a passenger in the truck; gang raped her and dumped her, together with the car, outside Palapye. The police spokesman also said that they have ascertained that the vehicle that was used in the robbery belongs to one Kabelo Medupi who was abducted and killed the previous night in Tati Siding. The police spokesperson said that they have launched a massive manhunt to trace the killers but have up to now not managed to catch anyone.

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