Five arrested for CBD robberies as Sonko forms anti-mugging squad

City Inspectorate official arrest a mugger in Nairobi, Sunday January 21, 2018. /FILE
City Inspectorate official arrest a mugger in Nairobi, Sunday January 21, 2018. /FILE

The five suspects arrested for robbery with violence within the Nairobi CBD will be arraigned on Monday.

It is believed they are part of a gang that has been attacking residents in broad daylight.

Tito Kilonzo, who is the city's

chief security officer for compliance and disaster management, said the arrests followed public outcry.

"The five suspects will appear in court to face charges of robbery with violence," he said, adding an anti-mugging squad was formed.

The county has marked Temple and Hakati roads as well as Moi and Haile Selassie Avenues as the hot spots for the muggings.

Other areas include the lower CBD, OTC Racecourse road, Uyoma road near St Peter's Clever Church and the junction of Ronald Ngala and Racecourse roads towards River road.

One of the suspected muggers who was arrested in the Nairobi CBD by the newly formed anti-mugging squad, Janaury 21, 2018. /Courtesy

The thieves cause injuries as they target phones, watches, laptops, handbags, fancy spectacles, earrings and chains.

They hide in a garage at the junction of Ring road and New Pumwani roads, and in Globe roundabout culverts from 4 am to 6 am and from 7 pm to 11 pm.

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Kilonzo added that the criminals are strategic and that they also target people leaving ATMs, forex bureaus and M-Pesa shops.

Once they identify targets, he said, the gangs follow in smaller groups and surround the victims to prevent escapes. They then snatch valuables in the shortest time frames possible.

It is alleged the gangs include the notorious 40 Brothers and Gaza boys, and that members number about 10.

An attack in the Nairobi town centre. /Courtesy

Governor Mike Sonko said they received intelligence that the thieves are funded by business people and politicians.

"We are on the lookout ...several arrests will be made forthwith," he said.

The resurgence of such daylight robbery in the CBD has put the police service on the spot, with many questioning the effectiveness of their routine patrols. The county spent millions of shillings installing CCTV cameras along the streets to boost security.

But Kilonzo assured residents of their safety, noting security agencies in Nairobi have pledged to get rid of muggers.