Kitengela criminal gang that demands food from victims when they attack

Villagers ill outside the abandoned Noonkopir police post. 

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

The sound of fast footsteps outside and a creak of the door as it was yanked open announced the presence of intruders in Agatha Njogu’s house in Noonkopir village on the night of October 22.

Ms Njogu was with her children in the living room preparing to retire to bed when five men wielding crude weapons ordered them into a corner.

One of the attackers took her mobile phone and ordered her to cook ugali and chicken for them .

The attackers, who were wearing balaclava masks, preferred chicken stew spiced with pepper. 

As Ms Njogu prepared the meal, one of the attackers kept an eye on her and her children as the others ransacked the house for valuables.

"They were seemingly not in a hurry. It was a well-planned attack,” Ms Njogu told the Nation in a recent interview.

In the attack that lasted two hours, the men turned the house upside down as they searched for items to steal. They took electronics, clothes, money and foodstuffs from the kitchen.

Although Ms Njogu and her children were not harmed, the ordeal horrified them.

Several families in Noonkopir village have recently fallen victims to robbers.

The robberies occur in a similar pattern. The gangsters usually gain access to homesteads using master keys or pounce on their targets when they return home from work. The gang also demands to be served a meal.

Crime has been on the increase in this populous village.

Robbery, muggings and all kinds of petty crimes have become the norm.

Hardly a day passes without a crime being reported.

"Our village has been turned into a criminal paradise. They unleash fear on innocent residents. When they strike, they leave a trail of losses and sometimes injuries,” said resident Wilson Chiko.

He added that police patrols are rare in the area.

The crimes are happening after locals set up a police post in the area. Eight years ago, they pooled resources and with the aid of local leaders built the Noonkopir police post. 

Noonkopir police post. 

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

But they claim police officers only make technical appearances at the police post.

"We decided to put up a police post because of the high crime rate in our neighbourhood. But police officers are only deployed to the post for a few hours every day and then leave," said village elder Clement Njung'e.

When we visited on Wednesday, the police post was quiet and dusty and appeared abandoned. Dirty wooden and plastic chairs lay strewn on the ground covered by a layer of dust.

Noonkopir police post. 

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

A police source, who cannot be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, told the Nation that the National Police Service was supposed to deploy police officers to the post but office politics derailed the plan.

"Flimsy excuses keep cropping up from police headquarters regarding the delay in deploying police officers,” the source said.

Reached for comment, Isinya police boss Ancent Kaloki was tight-lipped about the issue.

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