A 23-year-old man has been lynched in Murang'a county for allegedly being part of a gang that has been stealing crops and livestock.
He was found in a forest packaging stolen beans that had been reported stolen from a local farmer.
"It is true that he has been lynched. He was busted in a group of five. The rest managed to escape but he was not lucky. He was beaten to death," said Murang'a County Police Commander Mathiu Kainga.
The incident happened in Kihingo village in Kigumo constituency at around 4pm.
Mr Kainga added that the irate villagers conducted a search in the other suspects’ homes and evidence of stolen goats that had been slaughtered was found.
The police incident report at Muthithi police station indicated that the victim was Ngigi Thuo.
"In one of the suspects’ homes were skulls of four goat skins that had been reported stolen from a farmer," said the report.
Mr Kainga advised the villagers to stop their patrols and let the police do their work.
"We urge the residents to cease taking the law in their own hands. It is an unfortunate incident even when we sympathise with the farmers for the challenges they are going through in the hands of crop and stock thieves," he said.
"I have since ordered security committees to commence crackdowns against crop thieves who inflict farmers more than 35 percent of income losses," said Murang'a County Commissioner Patrick Mukuria.
Mr Mukuria said the crackdown should also target village crooks who steal harvests from area farms, brokers who buy the contraband as well as those who open unstructured markets by buying crops out of season.
Crops targeted by the thieves include avocado, arrowroots, cassava, sweet potatoes, coffee and tea.