A suspected chicken thief was on Wednesday evening lynched while two others were seriously injured in Kamutuma village in Maara sub county, Tharaka-Nithi County.
The three, two brothers and a nephew were apprehended by angry residents who found them with seven chickens, packets of maize flour and other assorted goods that had been stolen in a neighbour’s house on Tuesday night.
One suspect was burnt to death while another one was saved by the police and rushed to Chuka County Referral Hospital. A third one escaped with several panga cuts.
Maara Deputy County Police Commander Johnstone Kabusia said when police arrived at the scene, one suspect had already died.
“We were able to save the one suspect and rushed him to hospital,” said Mr Kabusia.
Mr Kabusia, who said police had launched investigations into the matter, warned residents against taking law into their own hands.
Residents claimed that the three young men had been breaking into their houses and stealing chicken, electronics, utensils and foodstuffs for many years.
“The three are primary school dropouts started,” said Mr John Kimathi.
Ms Sarah Makena, another resident said a week ago, the three had broken into a nearby church and stole maize.
Residents also blamed the administration for allowing the sale of illicit brew in the village.
“Our young people steal to get money to buy the illicit brews and bhang,” said Joel Mutegi.