Sleuths arrest six suspects, seize two pistols in city sting operation

Some of the items that police seized from the suspected gangsters arrested in Mukuru-Fuata Nyayo Slums in Nairobi on October 6, 2022.

Photo credit: Sammy Kimatu | Nation Media Group

Detectives from Makadara division on Wednesday night arrested six robbery suspects and seized two pistols in a sting operation.

The officers also confiscated a bolt cutter, several phones and a police sweater from the house of one of the suspects.

Makadara police boss Timon Odingo told the Nation that the operation took place around midnight.

The raid was conducted in the Mukuru-Fuata Nyayo slum in South B in Starehe sub-county, Commander Odingo said.

The operation followed information residents provided to administrative officers, detectives, Nyumba Kumi and police stations, he added.

Among those arrested was a notorious suspect who had been on police radar for a long time but who escaped police traps several times.

"We used our special force in civilian clothes to get the gangsters among other perennial criminal gangs,” Mr Odingo said.

He added that the police arrested a “wanted hardcore suspect who has given my officers sleepless nights”.

The suspects’ hideout was an iron-sheet structure allegedly rented by 19-year-old Samson Wambugu, aka Sam. Officers had to walk in murky waters in poorly lit alleys to get to the location, he said.

The other suspects found with Mr Wambugu were David Kamau, aka Ramo, 20, and Dennis Muthiani, alias Denjo, 19.

The others included 18-year-old Collins Macharia, alias Kim, and David Irungu, nicknamed Davie, 20.

A 17-year-old was also arrested, but because of legal reasons, he cannot be named.

The police found two pistols, one loaded with one 9mm-calibre bullet.

Officers also seized several phones and a police sweater from Mr Wambugu house.

"The pistol loaded with ammunition was owned by Mr David Irungu while the other was owned by Mr Samson Wambugu," Mr Odingo said.

"The suspect known as 'Corrupt' and also known as 'Kali' has become a threat to the safety of the police and members of the public, especially traders.

“He has been involved in a series of armed robberies in Doonholm, along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, South C and Industrial Area among other areas.”

Some of those arrested were taken to police stations handling their respective cases.

The suspects will be paraded so that complainants can identify them, Mr Odingo said.

The gang used a motorcycle belonging to ‘Corrupt’ to escape from crime scenes, he added.

The bike was impounded and taken to the Industrial Area Police Station.

Police reports say the suspects were linked to the theft of eight motorcycles that were in their possession but which they abandoned when they escaped previous dragnets.

"Five motorbikes confiscated by the police are at the Lunga Lunga Police Station, while the other three … are at the Industrial Area Police Station," he said.

Police sources say the suspects had committed other crimes in Embakasi, South B, Shauri Moyo and Donholm.

Mr Odingo said the suspects slept in different houses in different slums that they used as hideouts.

He said young criminals are ‘eager’ to re-enact in real life what they have watched in movies.

"When they watch movies in video halls within slums, they want to try what they imitated from the movies. [Other habits] attributed to the ‘venture’ in crime include chewing moguka and miraa in groups,” he said.

He said they use narcotics that give them hallucinations and they “see themselves as champions and want to be seen as wild, fierce, courageous and furious".

Young people start committing crimes by mugging women and snatching mobile phones and other petty items from them, Mr Odingo said. They climb the ladder, 'graduate' and start using pistols and guns.

"They also practise using their homemade pistols, although the firearms have the ability to shoot," he added.

These days, he said, robbery suspects do not target M-Pesa kiosks like before because they are afraid of being confronted by officers in civilian clothes.

Armed criminals previously robbed M-Pesa shops after seeing officers in police uniforms pass by during their patrols, a police report said.

“Nowadays, they are afraid to raid the M-Pesa booths because they know members of the public are mixed with the undercover police hence refraining from risking arrest or [being] shot down," the report added.

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