Police kill three robbery suspects

A section of Naivasha town on June 30,2016./FILE
A section of Naivasha town on June 30,2016./FILE

Police officers shot dead three suspected robbers on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The trio, including a woman, had allegedly commandeered a Nissan matatu on Saturday night and robbed passengers of their valuables. The officers responded swiftly and cornered them near Naivasha prison.

Three other suspects escaped with gunshot wounds.

The officers recovered mobile phones and other stolen items.

The incident came a day after another group of passengers were robbed on the same highway on their way to Nairobi.

In each of the two incidents, two passengers, including a woman, boarded a matatu in Nakuru and on reaching Naivasha requested to be dropped, only for their accomplices to strike. Residents suspect it is the same gang. Victims narrated that the two ‘travellers’ had informed the booking office that they were heading to Nairobi

“In all the robberies, the passengers have identified one woman who had a tattoo on her arm as the main culprit. Tonight, we’ve managed to caught up with them,” Naivasha deputy police boss John Kwasa said.

On Saturday, the two asked the driver to drop them in Mithuri estate, Naivasha, and armed thugs immediately took the bus hostage.

“They drove us to an abandoned quarry, off the highway, and for over two hours robbed us and used our phones to transfer cash to their phones,” John Kinyanjui said.

The police suspect the group has been behind a series of highway robberies in the region and warned other members that their days are numbered.

Kwasa said his officers acted on a tipoff from members of the public.

“We’ve managed to recover a toy pistol, 10 mobile phones, a laptop, IDs and other personal effects, which were stolen from the passengers,” he said.

They are searching for those who escaped and urged residents to assist them with information that could lead to their arrest.

The officer urged matatu operators to capture details of their passengers, especially night travellers, to reduce highway robberies.

“In the last one month, we’ve recorded cases of carjacking on the Nairobi-Nakuru and Naivasha-Mai Mahiu roads. We believe this will now end,” he said.