Police on Wednesday sounded the alarm over the rising cases of lynching suspected criminals in Mombasa.
Coast Police boss Aggrey Adoli said eight people had been killed this month, six of them in the past five days.
He cautioned residents against taking the law in their hands, saying police were tracking leaders of the mobs stoning suspected thieves to death and burning their bodies.
“Those behind such cases are murderers and if found will be charged with murder. We are investigating case by case,” said Mr Adoli.
The police chief appealed to the public to record any lynchings on their phones and also alert police to avert more deaths.
“We urge them to use their mobile phones to record and share with us the recordings to help us identify the culprits,” he said, adding that he had received complaints from residents distressed by the spate of killings.
Last Sunday, a mob killed two boda boda operators in Kisimani area of Kisauni on suspicion that they were criminals.
The first suspect was cornered near Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Secondary School and led the mob to a guest house where his colleague was. The two were beaten to death.
On Tuesday, two other men accused of stealing computers, printers and a TV set were saved by police from a lynch mob in Bombolulu estate.
“One boda boda operator accused of theft is also missing and we fear he might have been killed,” said Kisimani community police chairman Abdallah Abdulrahman.
Three suspected gangsters were killed in Bamburi and area police boss Julius Wanjohi said they could not rescue the suspects because such cases were hardly reported on time.
Two weeks ago, Pastors Benjamin Juma of Nyali Baptist Church and Jackson Kioko of Melchizedek Church were on a preaching mission when a mob stoned them to death, claiming they were thieves.
Initially police claimed they were criminals, but later said it was a case of mistaken identity after establishing that they were meeting their church members in the area. Pastor Kioko had just returned from a two-week honeymoon.