Suspected motor vehicle parts thief in hospital after mob attack

A police officer and garage operators inspect some of the items recovered from a robbery suspect on November 23, 2022

Photo credit: Mbacharia Mwangi | Nation Media Group

A robbery suspect is fighting for his life at Naivasha Sub-County Hospital after he was nearly lynched by an angry mob.

He was a part of a gang that steals motorcycle vehicle spare parts in garages and sells them to unsuspecting scrap metal dealers.

A theft victim, Samuel Waweru, recounted that he was accosted by members of the gang last Wednesday, forced to open the bonnet of his car and robbed of a battery.

“I had parked the vehicle outside the hospital when one of them approached and threatened to harm me if I failed to comply. I did as instructed,” he said.

Speaking outside the Naivasha Police Station, Mr Waweru revealed that he had inscribed his mobile phone number on the stolen battery.

“That is how I was called after the suspect took the police to where he had hidden the stolen parts,” he added.

Some garage operators said they had lost car parts to the gang members, who strike in the wee hours.

“I lost a propeller shaft worth more than Sh30,000, but am lucky it has been found,” said another garage operator.

The owners claimed that the theft of motor vehicle parts had declined after the government banned the scrap metal business.

In January, former President Uhuru Kenyatta put a moratorium on the export, buying or selling of scrap materials until proper guidelines are put in place to regulate the sector.

He said the ban would ensure that the materials do not come from hard-won investments Kenyans have made.

“Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in the theft of motor vehicle spare parts recently,” said the garage operators.

Garage owners said efforts to fight the crime before the ban was imposed led to the deaths of two private guards.

Naivasha sub-county Police Commander Samuel Waweru linked the assaulted suspect to the criminal activities, saying police were pursuing his accomplices.

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