Police in Bahati have launched investigations into an incident in which unknown people drove a car into Dundori forest and set it ablaze.
According to residents living near the forest, several gunshots were heard at around midday within the forest before a huge dark smoke was seen billowing from the forest.
“I was going on with my normal duties at home when I heard gunshots in the forest. As I rushed to my neighbour, a huge plume of black smoke filled the sky, which prompted us to report the matter at Dundori Police Post,” said Peter Kuria, a local resident.
Police officers rushed to the scene and found a Toyota Fielder with registration number KCL 509L on fire, but nobody was at the site.
Speaking to The Standard on phone, Bahati OCPD Edward Wafula said more police officers were deployed to comb the forest in search of suspects or occupants of the vehicle who could have fallen victim to carjacking.
Through the registration number of the vehicle, the police were able to identify the owner who was called in and assisted in the arrest of one of the suspects.
“We identified the owner of the vehicle, Mr Edward Mwangi, using the registration details. He had hired the vehicle to two people in Roysambu, Nairobi, one of whom we have since arrested,” said Mr Wafula.
One of the suspects, a 19-year-old student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricultural Technology, was arrested after the police laid a trap.
“The owner of the vehicle called one of the people he had hired the vehicle to and organised for a meeting. One of the boys showed up and was arrested,” said the OCPD.
The OCPD, however, said that the matter was still under investigation to establish if it was the students who burnt the vehicle or they had been carjacked by other people.
“We are yet to know the motive behind the incident. There is a possibility the boys might have burnt the vehicle themselves or a gang might have kidnapped them and used the vehicle to commit a crime before setting it on fire,” said the OCPD.
He added that they, through the Director of Criminal Investigations, have obtained permission from the court to continue holding the suspect for more time to allow further investigations before being arraigned in court.
The two students had hired the vehicle indicating that they were going on a tour to Lake Nakuru National Park.
In another incident at the Dundori Trading Centre, unknown criminals brought down and dismantled a medium-sized electricity transformer, leaving over 200 residents in a power blackout.
It is suspected the criminals were after oil used in transformers as a coolant that fetches a fortune in the black market. The incident has crippled operations of many businesses and a hospital which rely on electricity.
The residents called on the police to intensify patrols in the area, saying the forest has become a hideout for criminals.