Car theft syndicate has hit western Kenya. Most of the stolen vehicles are said to be driven to a neighbouring country where they are dismantled and sold as spare parts.
On Sunday morning, thugs broke into a residential house of Bomet County Executive in charge of Social Services, Gender and Youth Mr Bernard Ng’eno and robbed him of his motor vehicle and household goods.
Mr Ngeno said four thugs jumped through a perimeter wall, accessed the house through the kitchen door and ordered the family to remain locked in their bedroom as they ransacked the house for valuables.
“As we were holed up in the bedroom in the 3am incident. They packed a Television set, a radio, household goods, in the Toyota Avensis KBR 473T and drove off,” Mr Ng’eno said on Sunday after recording a statement with the police.
In Kisumu, Mr Willis Atieno Auko – director of United Hope International, Kenya was robbed of his car by a man who posed as a buyer.
The man who identified himself as a Mr Edward and claimed to be the son of a governor from Western Kenya, met Mr Auko at Prenius Hotel in Kisumu town where he was shown the Toyota Rav 4 registration number KCB 744L.
“He said he was interested in the vehicle and we drove off from the hotel to Re-Insurance plaza where he claimed we were to do the transactions,” Mr Auko said.
On arrival at the Lawyer’s office, he said, the man excused himself to make a phone call but left the building and returned to the car and drove off. The incident occurred on May 5.
Despite the report being made at Kisumu Central Police Station vide OB number 33/11/05/2019 barely 15 minutes after the theft, police did respond immediately, thus giving room for swift escape.
Kisumu City Residents Voice Chairman Audi Ogada says: “We have seen many cases in the last one month where vehicles have been stolen with very little being done by police to salvage the situation.”
Mr Noah Katumo, Kisumu CID boss said they were carrying out investigations.
“We are following up on the reported matters and shall take appropriate action,” Mr Katumo told Nation.
In Bomet, just in the past three months, more than 10 vehicles have been stolen with some yet to be recovered.
“There is an urgent need for the police to crack down on the robberies targeting motor vehicles,” said Mr Ng’eno who lost his vehicle on Sunday.
Mr Geoffrey Walumbe, the Bomet Central Sub County Police Commander said the incident had been reported at the station and was being handled by the Criminal Investigations Department.
The thugs, who have been targeting saloon cars, disable the tracking devices fitted to the vehicles before changing their number plates.
It is suspected that the vehicles are driven to a neighbouring country where they are sold while others are dismantled and sold as spare parts.
Residents have blamed police for taking too long to respond.
“If police act swiftly, such cases cannot happen. It is important to circulate details of stolen vehicles as first as possible and road blocks mounted to avert the thefts,” said Mr Ogada.