He lured a rider into a trap and robbed him. A court sentenced him to death

Moses Kirimi

Tigania Principal Magistrate Paul Wechuli ruled that Moses Kirimi was part of a three-man gang that menacingly robbed Mr Boniface Mwika on Jamhuri Day last year.

Photo credit: Charles Wanyoro | Nation Media Group

A man who posed as a passenger to lure a boda boda rider into a trap and violently robbed him of his motorcycle has been sentenced to death.

Tigania Principal Magistrate Paul Wechuli ruled that Moses Kirimi was part of a three-man gang that menacingly robbed Mr Boniface Mwika on Jamhuri Day last year.

The magistrate detailed how Kirimi was placed at the scene of the crime through data from his mobile phone, which he had used to pay for his victim’s fuel via M-Pesa.

Mr Wechuli noted that Mr Mwika had positively identified Kirimi as one of his attackers during an identification parade at Muthara police station.

The boda boda rider had told the court how Kirimi approached him at Muriri market on December 12, 2021 and asked to be taken to Kandebene, about 18km away.

But on reaching Kiare, on the Muriri-Isiolo road, far from the initial destination, he told Mr Mwika that he had reached his journey's end and asked him to stop.

It was then that the rider was accosted by two other people on a motorcycle and they blocked his way.

Armed with a panga

The two, who were armed with a panga and a sword, threatened to harm Mr Mwika while Kirimi also turned against him and tried to snatch his motorcycle’s ignition key.

When Mr Mwika resisted, one of the two raiders swung a panga at him, missing him by a whisker.

Fearing for his life, the rider abandoned his motorcycle, a black TVS with registration KMFN 215X, and fled into the nearby a bush.

In hiding, he saw his passenger join the other two and they rode towards the Kandebene area after the incident that happened at 11pm.

Mr Mwika was rescued by his brother and they went to the filling station where the suspect had paid for fuel via M-Pesa and was furnished with the mobile phone number.

Police Constable Kennedy Karanja, who investigated the matter, told the court that he contacted Safaricom and received call data and details of the registered owner of the mobile phone.

Proceeded to Kaelo

He told the court that the phone was registered under the name of one Susan M’Itabara and he traced it to Kaelo market in Igembe North.

Mr Karanja and other police officers proceeded to Kaelo, where they arrested Kirimi and seized the phone and SIM card used to pay for the fuel.

Upon interrogation, Kirimi confessed to the violent theft and told investigators that the stolen motorcycle had been sold to one Dennis Mureti, a resident of Kabachi in the sub county.

When the officers arrested Mr Mureti, he admitted that he had been approached by Kirimi and two others and he bought the motorcycle for Sh20,000.

He said he later sold the motorcycle to one Mwongera for Sh22,000.

Officer Karanja told the court that Kirimi was positively identified as the man who had posed as a customer on the day of the robbery.

Convicted to set an example

Principal prosecution counsel Celestine Matere noted that though Kirimi was a first-time offender, he should be convicted to set an example for would-be violent mororcycle thieves.

But in his defence, Kirimi urged the court to release him, saying he was framed and the mobile phone was not registered in his name.

Mr Wechuli dismissed the defence as an afterthought, saying the issue of the SIM card being registered in a different name could not exonerate him from the offence.

He noted that the phone and the SIM card, which were produced as exhibits, were seized from him shortly after he committed the offence.