Police unearth motorbike theft syndicate

Motorbikes suspected to have been stolen are displayed at Nanyuki police station on September 28, 2021.

Photo credit: James Murimi | Nation Media Group

Police have unearthed a motorcycle theft syndicate in Laikipia after confiscating a consignment of boda bodas in transit to Moyale from Nairobi.

On Monday, a client bought a motorbike – a Boxer BM150 of registration number KMFP 324B - with a Sh130,000 loan from Watu Credit Ltd in Nairobi.

Hours later, it was reported to have been stolen and that is when a team comprising the police and company officials tracked it.

The team intercepted two lorries at 8pm on Monday on the Nanyuki-Isiolo highway.

When the vehicles were inspected on Tuesday at the Nanyuki Police Station, eight motorbikes were found inside with other goods.

The team identified the stolen motorbike, which had already been allocated a fake logbook.

Laikipia East Sub-County Police Commander John Tarus said they were working closely with the multi-agency team to establish the origin of the other stolen motorcycles.

"On Monday at 8pm, we intercepted the two vehicles and detained them at the station until today when we inspected them and recovered eight motorcycles. They were being ferried to Moyale...they were to be sold in Ethiopia," Mr Tarus said.

The syndicate is also believed to be stealing bikes from Bungoma, Eldoret, Kisii and Bomet.

"The other goods we found inside the trucks have the requisite documentation and they are legally in transit. The only problem is that the motorcycles have no documentation," the police boss said.

"We have a multi-agency team which is conducting a crackdown on all counterfeit goods. We are partnering to end this syndicate."

Among the recovered motorcycles were a Boxer BM150 of registration number KMFU 845G, which was stolen on Monday this week and reported at the Mihang'o Police Station in Nairobi.

The other was a TV150 of registration number KMFS 201V, which was reported stolen on Sunday at the Kariobangi South Police Station.

Hi-Line Motors Ltd CEO Maurice Nyangao said the firm has lost 100 bikes to the syndicate since August this year.

Some 14 suspects have been arrested, he said.

"We sell a motorcycle and then after one hour, we notice that the tracker is not traceable. Some of the buyers switch off their phones and are nowhere to be traced. This is an indication of a cartel conducting the theft," Mr Nyangao said.

"After investigations with police, we realised that the motorbikes are being taken to Eastleigh and later ferried to Moyale. Further investigations indicated that they are being sold in Ethiopia," he added.

On Friday last week, the credit firm and the vehicle dealership sold a motorcycle to a client but it was later reported stolen.

When it was tracked on Saturday night, the signal indicated that it was inside a garage in Eastleigh.

"On Sunday morning, police found the bike and 21 others at the garage that had been stolen. They were taken to Eastleigh North Police Station," Mr Nyangao said.

"We sell one motorbike at Sh139,000. Since August, we have lost about 100 bikes to this unscrupulous syndicate. This is a big loss."