The burglary that wasn’t, or was it?

Trust the police in Jiji Ndogo to catch a criminal in the act

In Summary

• Mistakes happen in the police force, and crooks know how to take advantage


Sophia is bummed after discovering that Inspector Tembo could be her biological father, but our boss is in Nairobi tending to his sick wife, so there is no way of confronting him with this kind of news. To cheer her up, I read her an article I think she will love.

“I’m not in the mood,” she says.

“Just listen first, okay?”

The story is from England. A couple of goodhearted policemen found an old man suffering a heart attack by the side of the road. They offered to take the man to the hospital. One of them took the man to the emergency room, while the other drove the man’s vehicle to the police station for safekeeping.

Utumishi kwa wote,” she says. “I’d have done the same. That’s what we’re paid to do.”

“Wait, there’s more.”

“The officer remains by the old man’s bedside until he recovers?”

“Don’t ruin it. Just listen.”

As the story goes, the nice cops went home at the end of their shift, but they forgot to inform the incoming officers about the old man’s car parked at the station. Concerned about the “suspicious” car, the new shift officers called the bomb squad who blew up the vehicle.

“What?” Sophia screams. “Oh my God. Poor old man.”

“I know, right? I mean, how stupid is that?”

I’m delighted to see the look on her face, but before we can talk more, the Police Post public line buzzes. Sophia gets the report.

“Burglary in progress,” she tells me, holstering her gun.

“Action.” I, too, take my gun from the lockbox. “I love it!”

We’re out of breath when we get to Kimani’s house.

Sophia says, “We really need to petition for a police vehicle.”

“Good luck with that. Remember we’re still waiting for the new uniforms?”

Kimani’s house is unlocked. We draw our guns and take position on either side of the door.

“Police!” Sophia shouts. “If you’re in there, come out with your hands up!”

“Lemme try,” I say. “Mkora, kama wewe iko ndani ya nyumba ya wenyewe, toka kama mikono iko ndani ya hewa. Leta nyokonyoko, ukule risasi.”

We get no response, so we breach — police talk for walking into the house.

No one in the sitting room, but a TV, stereo, CD player and a bunch of other stuff are wrapped up, ready to go. Same thing in the kitchen. We walk into the bedroom, and a man in pyjamas is sleeping on the bed. I wake him up as Sophia covers him with her weapon.

The man startles awake. “What the! What are you doing here?”

“We had a call about a burglary in progress,” Sophia explains.

“I didn’t call the police. I’m moving. Maybe someone saw me parking and called you people. Or you got the wrong house.”

I pull Sophia aside. “He’s in pyjamas. I think we may be in the wrong house.”

“Is this what you do?” the man shouts. “Break into people’s houses and storm their bedroom while they sleep?”

“What’s your name, sir?” asks Sophia.

“Sam Sang Kimani. Na zenyu? I’m gonna report this, you know.”

I laugh. “Your name is Samsung?”

“Get out of my house!”

The man ushers us to the door, where we find another man entering the house.

“Good,” says the man. “Did you catch the thief?”

“Lemme see your ID,” I say.

He does. It reads, “Sam Sung Kimani.”

By the time we get back in the house, the fake Kimani has already jumped through the window and left.

“I mean, how stupid is that, right?” Sophia tells me.