THREE IN TWO DAYS

Churches break-ins worry Ol Kalou residents

They are afraid that the criminals will turn to people’s homes.

In Summary

• Silanga assistant chief warns criminals to look for alternative sources of income, saying their days are numbered.

• Passenga chief Daniel Muniu said many churches are in isolated places with no security measures in place.

An SDA Passenga church member near the window through which thieves used to steal a keyboard and woofer on Saturday night
INSECURITY: An SDA Passenga church member near the window through which thieves used to steal a keyboard and woofer on Saturday night
Image: /Ndichu Wainaina

Passenga township residents in Ol Kalou are a worried lot after three churches were broken into and electronic equipment stolen in two days.

They are afraid that once the criminals are done stealing from the churches, they will start breaking into people’s homes.

On Saturday night, African Inland Church (AIC) lost electronic equipment worth more than Sh250,000 to thieves.

 
 

Church member David Kinyanjui told the Star the church lost a projector, keyboard, mixer, wireless microphones, cables, and a gas cylinder. He said the thieves might be people from the area who know the place well because they targeted only the vestry, where the equipment was kept.

“They cut the fence to access the church compound and went ahead to cut the padlock. But the door was locked from the inside. They went around the church and broke into the second vestry, where they carted away the equipment," he said

On the same night, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church was broken into and a keyboard and a woofer stolen. The items are worth Sh82,000. The thieves cut grills on a window that had been left open.

Empty boxes where electronic equipment at AIC church, Passenga, were kept. Thieves took away the equipment on Saturday night
INSECURITY: Empty boxes where electronic equipment at AIC church, Passenga, were kept. Thieves took away the equipment on Saturday night
Image: /Ndichu Wainaina

Church member Mwangi Ndegwa, whose home neighbours the church, said at about 9.30pm, they heard a gunshot-like sound. "My dogs barked persistently. We did not imagine the sound could be from the church," he said.

Silanga assistant chief Alice Gitau, a member of SDA church, urged residents to be vigilant, especially from midnight as this is the time criminals strike.

She said anytime dogs bark persistently is an indicator that something is amiss and dog owners should alert their neighbours to be watchful.

“I want to condemn the act in the strongest terms possible. Further, I want to tell the culprits we have forgiven them, but they should seek an alternative legally acceptable source of income as their days are numbered," she said.

 
 

A day before the two thefts, ACK Maran was broken into. But the sound system, believed to have been targeted, had been taken for servicing. Church chairman Johnson Muthemba told the Star they are yet to establish if anything was stolen.

A widow through which thieves entered ACK church in Maran on Friday night
INSECURITY: A widow through which thieves entered ACK church in Maran on Friday night
Image: /Ndichu Wainaina

Rosemary Mung’ara urged police officers from Passenga police post to beef up patrols.

Passenga senior chief Daniel Muniu told the Star the authorities are doing their best to nab the culprits. He said criminals could be targeting churches in the area because many are in isolated places with no one to keep watch.

Muniu urged church leaders to employ night watchmen or ensure there are people living in the church compounds.

A widow through which thieves entered ACK church in Maran on Friday night
INSECURITY: A widow through which thieves entered ACK church in Maran on Friday night
Image: /Ndichu Wainaina

“We also urge the residents to cooperate with Nyumba Kumi elders and report anything suspicious for requisite measures," he said

Nyandarua county police commander Gideon Ngumi said on Monday no formal report has been made on the breakins.

He said, however, they are investigating and he has instructed Nyandarua Central subcounty police commander Leonard Kimaiyo to go to the ground to find out what is happening.

Ngumi said churches must be living in the past to keep such equipment in the church without a watchman.