Eight armed robbers stormed the Bulawayo High Court in Zimbabwe on Sunday and injured two police officers as they tried to break open the registry safe using a grinder, state media reported on Monday.
The robbers gained entry into the court’s criminal registry, after attacking and disarming police officers manning the premises.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.
The incident occurred at about 4.am and the suspects were reportedly armed with pistols.
Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s second-largest city.
“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,” Mr 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,” Mr Nyathi said.
“These guys had inside information and we want to establish the motive behind the robbery and the attack on the officers.
“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,” he added.
Judicial Service Commission spokesperson Rumbidzai Takawira said the commission had 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),” he said.
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.