As night falls and people retreat to their homes, fear creeps in for residents of Lolwe, Carwash, Migosi and Mamboleo estates in Kisumu, now the crime hotspots of the lakeside city.
Three days ago, residents woke up to the news that a night guard had been murdered in cold blood in Lolwe, Kisumu Central sub-county.
Mr Okelo, a resident, recalled hearing a commotion in the night, dismissing it as an ordinary family dispute.
“When I heard the noises, I went back to sleep, thinking it was one of my neighbours involved in a domestic quarrel,” he said.
In the morning, however, residents leaving for work found the body of a 50-year-old watchman lying in a corridor.
“He had stab wounds in his chest. Medical reports revealed that he had been choked to death,” Mr Okelo said.
Some tenants reported hearing windows being broken by suspected robbers in the estates on the same night.
The house of one of them, Mercy, was broken into and her belongings, including electronics, stolen.
“They were armed with crude weapons and wore face masks. I was warned to cooperate with them or my children would be killed,” said Mercy, who was still traumatised by the incident.
Other tenants also reported hearing their windows being broken, although the robbers did not manage to break into their houses.
Cases of robbery had risen in the estates in the past few months, residents said. What bothers them, however, is that no suspect has been arrested.
“Sometime back, we formed a group to take care of our security at night. However, the group dissolved due to delayed payments by our landlords,” Mr Okelo said.
Police say the suspects are believed to be youths aged between 15 and 25.
Residents claim gang members visit their houses before the attacks while others take pictures of their next targets.
“On the day we lost our watchman, we learnt that some suspected robbers had escaped arrest by fleeing on a motorcycle towards Lolwe,” said another resident.
Escaped with bullet wounds
Apart from the nighttime robberies, a police officer, who sought anonymity, said theft of mobile phones has also been on the rise in the city, with Kondele, Kisumu Central, leading in cases.
His police station, he said, receives at least two cases of mobile phone theft a day.
"We have deployed more officers, who conduct their patrols in the evenings when most of the cases are reported," he said.
More robberies had been reported in Migosi and Lolwe in the past few months but he said police were working to boost security.
On August 28, police officers on patrol gunned down two suspected robbers believed to have been part of a gang that often terrorises the lakeside city.
The two were in the company of 13 others who were thought to have escaped with bullet wounds after the 2am incident in Ogango-Mamboleo estates.
The gang had engaged the officers in a shootout.
Kisumu East sub-county police Commander James Musyimi said the thugs behind the robberies are believed to be youths under 25 years old.
“The gang often uses crude weapons to break into houses at night, including machetes, knives, iron bars and crowbars, making away with valuables,” he reported.
While some of the suspects are still at large, the officers recovered a six-kilogramme gas cylinder, a microwave, a television set and other household items.
Mr Musyimi said three suspects had been arrested since they began their night patrols in the crime hotspots.
Residents now hope that the authorities will act quickly to ensure no more lives or properties are lost to the thieves.
“Over 10 tenants have had their houses broken into in the last few months. It is time those responsible are arrested and tried in court,” Mr Okelo said.
Kisumu County police Commander Kipkirui Ngetich, who assumed office last week, said he needed a few days to look into the matter before he could take action.