The second most wanted suspect in killings that have rocked Matungu and Kilingili has been arrested in Vihiga County.
The Special Crimes Prevention Unit (SCPU) arrested 24-year-old Boniface Gubimiru alias Guga on Friday night, while following leads from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Nairobi.
The DCI said Mr Gubimiru was taken to Mbale Police Station for questioning.
The DCI in Nairobi coordinated the arrest as part of operations to weed out hardcore criminals who have found a safe haven in the rural Vihiga County.
This followed concerns that authorities in that county were sleeping on their jobs.
The arrest brings to two the number of suspected criminals arrested over gang activities in Vihiga and Kakamega.
The operation intensified after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i and Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai toured the troubled region on Thursday.
The first suspect, Kelson Liyenga alias Kevin Lienga, was arrested by the DCI in Kawangware, Nairobi on Wednesday, and transferred to Mbale for interrogation.
The DCI said Mr Gubimiru and Mr Liyenga, 20, are believed to be the ring leaders of gangs carrying out organised crimes in Western region.
Forensic analysis, the directorate said, confirmed that Mr Gubimiru was linked to the crimes.
The DCI cited two cases in 2017, when the suspect was directly connected to a series of violent robberies in Chavakali and Sabatia, in which victims’ legs were cut off with pangas.
The DCI shared photos of some of the victims whose legs were cut off in attacks on June 4, 2017.
Mr Gubimiru was allegedly involved in another violent robbery in Sabatia on November 1, 2017, when a man was seriously injured and his wife gang-raped and one of her legs chopped off.
The accused was arrested, taken to court but later granted bond and released.
On April 10, the same gang robbed another couple and defiled their 14-year-old daughter.
Dr Matiang'i, who spoke at Bulimbo Primary School grounds on Thursday, said six people, including Mr Liyenga, had been arrested over the crimes in Matungu.
Mr Liyenga is said to have escaped from prison and to have coordinated the crimes in Matungu from his hideout.
"The arrest of the suspect is a major breakthrough. We have already obtained information about other suspects on the run. Their days are numbered," the CS said.
“We are asking his accomplices to surrender to police because we are pursuing them so that they are disciplined according to the law."