THE US$1M HEIST WHICH HAS SHAKEN BROOKE . . . Harare’s luxury gated community reeling from big robbery score . . . Suspect also steals three US$10 Buddie recharge cards in haul

Arron Nyamayaro

FOR the Borrowdale Brooke community, this was the sum of all their fears — a high-profile US$1 million heist inside their secure gated luxury complex in Harare.

This is supposed to be one of the safest neighbourhoods in Zimbabwe and visitors are not allowed into the complex unless they have been cleared by their hosts.

However, a Chinese businesswoman, who is a resident at the plush complex, lost more than US$1 million during a raid at her house, while she was away in Zvishavane, last week.

The cash was loaded into a suitcase.

The thief also stole an extra US$950, which was in a satchel, and despite hitting a US$1 million jackpot, also stole three US$10 Buddie recharge cards.

The thief is believed to have gained unlawful entry by forcing open the businesswoman’s bedroom window.

The Chinese businesswoman shares the house with her friends who told her they also lost their airtime and cash, apparently to the same thief.

The businesswoman was reported to have locked her room before leaving for Zvishavane.

“ZRP is investigating a case of unlawful entry into premises and theft which occurred at a house in Borrowdale Brooke, Harare on November 11, 2023, where the suspect forced open the victim’s bedroom window and gained entry before stealing US$1 million cash, which was in a suitcase, US$950 cash which was in a satchel and three US$10 Buddie vouchers,” said national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

He said investigations were underway.

H-Metro visited Borrowdale Brooke on Saturday and what was evident was that security had been tightened, at the entrance for visitors, going into the complex.

“We heard about the robbery, involving a large amount of money, and we are sure that the suspects involved could be among the residents,” said a security guard, who chose not to be named.

“A number of people, including business owners, have not been banking money and thereby exposing themselves to thieves.

“Everyone is still talking about this robbery, it’s something that doesn’t usually happen here.”

Ass Commissioner Nyathi once again warned people against giving strangers information regarding their valuables and financial status.

“We continue to urge people to avoid keeping large volumes of money at home and at their work places,” said Ass-Comm Nyathi.

“We urge members of the public to bank money with financial institutions and remain with little amounts and make use of plastic money.

“Leaking of financial information to close friends and relatives is another cause of these robberies involving large volumes of money.

“They found US$1 million cash which was stashed in a suitcase and US$950 which was in a satchel.

“Anyone with information to report at any nearest police station.”

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