Armed gangsters Wednesday morning raided Minai Coffee Factory in Runyenjes Constituency and stole 75 bags of clean coffee worth Sh2.7million.
They ambushed the watchman, tied his hands with a rope, took his phone and threw it away after removing its battery, then stormed the store.
The watchman, Mr Waweru Njagi, 64, who reported the incident at Kamuthatha police post, said the gangsters were armed with crude weapons such as metal bars with which they used to break the factory’s padlock.
They then carried the coffee on their backs for about 150 metres and loaded it into a waiting lorry and left at around 5am.
Mr Njagi said he suffered bruised and swollen arms.
“They placed a metal rod in my mouth and warned me that I would be killed if I screamed,” he said.
Confirming the incident, Embu Cooperatives Director David Muriuki said the coffee was being readied for transportation and was stored in 50-kilogramme bags.
He said the farmers had improved their production and were expecting good returns.
“The watchman was tied with ropes during the 4am incident near Riverside, Ena. We will be holding a meeting with police since they are helping us with investigations,” said Mr Muriuki.
Embu East Police boss Peter Thenya said the matter had been reported but he did not have details as he is on leave.
Last year, farmers in Embu lost coffee worth millions of shillings to thieves.
At the height of the thefts last year, ward representatives petitioned the Embu County Assembly to draft a law compelling State security organs to protect dried coffee beans in farmers’ cooperative societies across the county.