Eight robbers disarmed policemen guarding a court and gained entry into the court’s criminal registry, the media reported on Monday.
But they did not get what they were looking for.
The incident occurred in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe at about 4 a.m. and the suspects were reportedly armed with pistols.
According to the Chronicle newspaper, the robbers left two police officers injured as they tried to break open the registry safe using a grinder.
Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s second largest city. Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident and said investigations are underway.
“We are investigating an armed robbery case which occurred at the Bulawayo High Court (Sunday) morning at 4 a.m. It is said about eight suspects went to the court and attacked two officers who were on duty and these suspects were armed with pistols.
“After attacking them, they blindfolded one of the officers. They then tried to force open the court’s main safe to the criminal registry’s office using a key. After failing, they tried again to use a grinder and, in the process, it is alleged that they were making phone calls,” Nyathi said.
He said after failing in their attempts, they tied the hands and legs of one of the police officers. The officer who sustained some serious injuries was taken to hospital.
“They attacked him using their weapons. He is being treated at a hospital in Bulawayo, but we cannot reveal where he is receiving treatment,” Nyathi said.
“These guys had inside information and we want to establish the motive behind the robbery and the attack on the officers,” he said.
“We are therefore leaving no stone unturned in our quest to get to the bottom of this case and apprehend the suspects. The law will definitely take its course.”
Judicial Service Commission spokesperson Rumbidzai Takawira said the commission has deployed a team from Harare to assess the situation.
“We have a team that is going there to ascertain what really transpired and we can only have information tomorrow (Monday),” said Takawira.
A legal expert who declined to be named said an exhibit safe room can contain files or prosecution documents for suspects appearing before the courts.
“A crime registry can store exhibits which include weapons used by criminals in committing crimes. The exhibits are very vital in the prosecution process and probably these robbers wanted to steal these exhibits or destroy important documents,” said the expert.