Armed criminal gangs have been unleashing terror, and brazenly robbing and injuring Nyeri Town residents, even as police deploy various tactics to crack down on them.
Some of the robberies and abductions are conducted in broad daylight.
In recent weeks, the town and its outskirts have been grappling with an increase in violent robberies, muggings and abductions.
The gangs are usually armed with daggers, machetes and metal bars, while some have guns.
Recently, a Catholic priest was abducted in broad daylight at KCB Bank in Nyeri Town and robbed clean.
The priest, based at Christ the King Seminary in Mweiga, had just left the bank after withdrawing an unspecified amount of money at around 2pm.
He was confronted by a man flashing a police badge and then bundled into a car by another man.
The abductors also forced the priest to withdraw all the money he had in his mobile accounts, then dumped him at Kiriti in Tetu.
He was later admitted at Outspan Hospital with injuries.
The incident went unnoticed to more than six police officers manning three banks within a 50m radius.
Detectives handling the case are said to be looking at footage from other surveillance cameras in search for the captors’ identity.
Besides the case of the priest, multiple cases have been reported of muggings by knife-wielding criminals said to be members of one gang.
Police have revealed that the gang is believed to be led by several capital offence suspects who were recently released on bond. The suspects are believed to be rebuilding a criminal network of muggers, and scouts who inform them of police movements.
The gang is also believed to be split into smaller cells operating in multiple estates around the town.
The gang has been operating in Kamakwa, Ruring’u, Kangemi and Kamuyu areas.
And even though police have deployed various tactics to crack down on the gang, it still thrives.
Police sources told the Nation that some police divisions prefer to work independently.
“If all units do not come together and we work on a single joint strategy these criminals will always get away.
“Everybody has to bring ideas to the table rather than operate on their own,” an officer attached to Nyeri Central Police Station said.
But Nyeri Central police boss Muinde Kioko insists that police are pursuing the gang and members would soon apprehend them.
“We are on top of things. We have strategies at play and it is only a matter of time before they are caught. They will be caught,” the police boss said.