Nyandarua Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Thursday night arrested a key suspect behind livestock theft syndicate in Nyandarua and Nakuru counties.
The arrest of Mr Samuel Njuguna brings to 11 the number of suspects seized since last month, in connection to livestock theft in the region.
Mr Njuguna was the second suspect to be arrested in Nairobi after another arrest in the city’s Huruma estate last week in connection to the theft of three cows belonging to Mr Wambugu Kanuri from Uhuru village in Mirangine sub-county.
County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich said Mr Njuguna was the mastermind behind the theft of 11 cows valued at Sh2.2 million belonging to Mr David Kuria. The animals were recovered in Kisii County. Four other suspects were arrested in connection to the theft of the 11 cows.
Eight of the cows were recovered in Kisii, two were sold at Sh50, 000 each, while the carcass of one cow was found buried in one of the suspect's house.
Mr Cherutich said the arrest came a day after a herdsman was arrested in Ndaragua in connection with the theft of three dairy cows belonging to his employer. The animals were later recovered.
Nyandarua Central DCI boss Erick Ochieng’ said the suspect was arrested in Nairobi's Burma Market.
“He is among the main suspects we have been trailing. He was involved in the theft of the 11 cows recovered in Kisii last month; his arrest is a positive step towards dismantling the cartel. We are still pursuing other suspects,” said Mr Ochieng.
The suspect, who is being grilled at Ol Kalou DCI office, will be arraigned on Monday.
Mr Cherutich has advised farmers to construct secure livestock sheds closer to their houses.
“We urge the farmers to help us fight the crime [cattle theft] by constructing better housing and vetting the herdsmen before employment. We have established that most thefts are planned and coordinated by herdsmen,” said Mr Cherutich.