• Nyandarua North police boss says they cut through the window grills at the back of the cells.
• Residents want all officers serving at Ndaragwa police station transferred.
Residents of Nyandarua county are living in fear after 10 suspects escaped from Ndaragwa police station on Saturday morning.
Four were however rearrested on Sunday after a manhunt was launched by officers from Ndaragwa police station and are in custody. However, six are still at large.
Of the suspects, one is accused of attempted murder and another of defilement. The rest are accused of burglary of shops and schools.
Nyandarua North subcounty police commander Timon Odingo told the Star on Monday evening that the suspects escaped at around 2am after cutting through the window grills at the back of the cells.
“They are all youthful people. They are 1GB [slim] and can pass through any space,” he said on the phone.
The suspects were arrested in Ndaragwa town, Uruku, Jua Kali and Shamata.
Sources told the Star that four police officers were on duty at the station at the time and there was no way the suspects could have escaped unnoticed from a cell next to the reporting office.
“This story is confounding. I don’t understand how they could cut the window grills without anyone noticing. Again, how did a hacksaw find its way into the cells? This may have been an aided escape. It can’t be otherwise,” a resident said.
The resident said the incident confirms that Ndaragwa residents have no security if suspects can escape from a police cell. She said the lives of those who reported the crimes, leading to the arrest of the suspects, are now in danger as the culprits are free and can attack them at any time.
“We urge the government to transfer all police officers from Ndaragwa police station and bring those who are ready to work for Wanjiku,” another resident said.
But Odingo said police stations across the region are facing great challenges while manning suspects due to Covid-19 rules.
He said congestion in small police cells provide adequate ground and opportunity for suspects to plan and execute such escapes.
Odingo said prisons are not accepting suspects except those charged with murder, defilement and robbery with violence.
The police boss said the defilement suspect who escaped was waiting for Covid-19 test results before being moved to prison.
“It is very challenging, but what do we do? The cells are very small, and they keep remanding these people back to us. We have no place to take them to quarantine or isolation. We must take them for Covid-19 tests and the prisons are declining to accept them,” he said.
Edited by A.N