Police in Kirinyaga have arrested eight suspected members of a criminal gang that has been terrorising residents.
Officers acting on a tip-off seized the suspects from their hideout in Kianyaga town on Sunday and locked them up at the local police station for questioning.
The suspects, some sporting dreadlocks and believed to be part of a gang known as Mbogigenje, had been attacking residents at night and stealing their property.
They were also accused of extorting money from traders in the region. Those who fail to fork out the cash demanded are threatened with death.
Confirming the arrest, Kirinyaga East sub-county police boss Anthony Wanjuu described the suspects as notorious criminals.
"Residents and business people normally have sleepless nights due to the presence of these gang members who attack and steal from them," said Mr Wanjuu.
"We found the suspects hiding in a commercial building which is under construction and took them away for questioning. Scores of residents have been victims of the gangsters and they have been complaining of mistreatment."
He said the suspects will be charged with criminal offences ranging from assault to robbery with violence once detectives are through with investigations.
"The suspects are being interrogated by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and they will soon be charged," he said.
He said the gang comprises young people aged between 20 and 30.
Mr Wanjuu warned that any youth found to be members of the gang, whose characteristics are similar to those of the outlawed Mungiki sect, will face the full force of the law