Police arrest Meru’s ‘most wanted’ criminal, recover stolen items

Tuesday January 19 2016

By DARLINGTON MANYARA
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Police in Meru County have arrested one of the most sought-after criminals in the region who is said to have earlier been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mr Simon Mwiti Bironi, 52, alias Rashid Rambo, was arrested in his house at Gikumene Estate in Meru Town.

Officers working on a tip-off raided his house and seized crude weapons, several SIM cards and uniforms belonging to a security company.

An assortment of alcoholic drinks suspected to have been stolen from Matumbo Bar in Gikumene on January 12 was also recovered.

Imenti North Deputy Directorate of Criminal Investigation Officer Moses Waliaula confirmed that the suspect has been on a police most wanted list over a series of violent and armed robberies.

“We broke into the suspect’s house after he refused to open the door,” said Mr Waliaula.

The officer added that the suspect is an ex-convict who spent time at Shimo la Tewa Prison, where he was serving a death sentence.

DEATH SENTENCE

Some of the detectives who spoke to the Nation and requested anonymity said they were puzzled but were investigating how the suspect got out of prison while he had been handed a death sentence in 1999 by the Meru High Court.

“After interrogating the suspect, we have established that he had been moved to several maximum prisons, where he had been serving after he was found guilty of robbery with violence. We are yet to know how he was freed from jail,” said a detective.

Mr Waliula said police also found court papers from the suspect’s house.

“While searching his house, we also noted that he was sentenced to death in 1999.

“We recovered a memorandum of appeal in a criminal case. It seems he was writing to appeal against the sentence and conviction at the Nyeri Court of Appeal,” Mr Waliula added.

TRAILING ACCOMPLICES

He said police were trailing the suspect’s accomplices, who are still at large, with a view to arresting them and charging them together.

The suspect's arrest comes barely a week after five shops in Meru Town were broken into.

Police sources say the robbers tampered with the CTTV cameras that were installed outside the entrance.

However, they were able to identify the suspects, whose images were captured by cameras inside the buildings.

The suspect will appear in court Wednesday, though police say they will request more time to complete investigations.