Five people arrested over the abduction of a cleric and a series of robberies in Nyeri town were on Monday released on bond.
Samuel Wahome, Paul Maina, Anthony Kiriithi Kiboi, Charles Macharia Ngomo and Stephen Muhiatu Kimanu faced violent robbery charges before Resident Magistrate Ruth Kefa.
Police said a gang of six men kidnapped pastor Daniel Mathenge last Wednesday, held him hostage for hours and dragged him to a series of robberies.
Mr Mathenge was also in the gang's car during a police chase that lasted hours.
Police also placed the gang at the centre of an armed robbery at an entertainment joint where Sh20,000 was stolen.
The gang is said to have used two hired pistols to abduct the pastor from Gitathiini, just outside Nyeri town.
Mr Mathenge had just reached home at about 6pm when he was ambushed while still outside.
The gang then carried out a series of heists in Skuta, with Mr Mathenge in the car.
The three police squads that responded to the abduction engaged the suspects in a hot pursuit characterised by several gunshots reportedly from the stolen vehicle.
Police said the gang evaded several traps, one which left an undercover officer injured as he tried to stop their car using a motorcycle.
The six later abandoned the vehicle and the pastor in Kamakwa.
“The owner was rescued but the gang managed to slip away,” the police boss said.
The following day, however, they they went to the entertainment joint, in Kamuyu, and stole the money from owner Nelius Muthoni Githinji.
Police eventually arrested five people whose identities they confirmed through witnesses.
They were all charged with robbery with violence while one, Anthony Kiriithi Kiboi, was also charged with illegal possession of 11 rolls of bhang, and an additional 100 grams that were found in his house.
The suspects denied all the charges and were released on Sh500,000 bond each with sureties of the same amount.
Nyeri County Police Commander Ali Nuno said they were searching for the sixth suspect and would arrest any other person linked to the crimes.
The case will be mentioned on February 20.
Additional reporting by Reginah Kinogu