Bishop loses phone as city crime escalates

Mob assaults a suspected thief at the CBD, Nairobi. [Jennifer Wachie, Standard]

On December 19, Bishop Samuel Njiriri of Stewards Revival Pentecostal Church on Outering Road was making a phone call at the entrance of the church.

As he walked on the pavement leading to the house of worship, theives on a motorcycle snatched his mobile phone and zoomed off.

The boda boda rider and a pillion passenger sped off towards Kariobangi roundabout, leaving the bishop dumbfounded.

“They nearly plucked off my ear. That day I had left my vehicle at a car wash then decided to walk to church since it was less than a minute from there,” Bishop Njiriri told The Standard.

“That day, I learnt that many people lost their phones in the same manner along the stretch. The area is now becoming a hotspot with boda-boda snatchers. If they can snatch from me then no one is safe.”

The cleric has since reported that matter to Buru Buru Police Station and is now optimistic that the officer will track his phone and help deal with the culprits.

Buru Buru police boss Francis Kamau said just before Christmas, police recovered 48 stolen mobile phones in the area. He called upon those who may have lost their phones to visit the station to identify them.

“We encourage those who lose their phones to report to us because when they are recovered, it becomes easy to identify them,” Kamau said.

He said they have beefed up security in the area, the reason they were able to recover the phones.

Residents say the area is a hotspot for mobile phone snatchers because they easily escape through Mutarakwa Road to Dandora slum or straight to Kiamaiko area.

“The cases are common mostly during the early morning or evening hours. The snatchers target those walking on pavements along the road or anyone carrying luggage,” said Eve Ndegwa, a resident.

Another victim said, "I was walking along the street chatting with my colleague when a motorbike slowed down near us and before I turned to give way thinking that a passenger wanted to alight, the guy on the passenger seat snatched my handbag and they rode off."

The cases are also said to be common from Buru Buru shopping centre all the way to Uhuru Market junction.

Residents are now urging the police to increase patrols in the area.

Recently police said the suspects cover the number plates of the motorbikes using scarves and bandanas to conceal them from being identified.

At night, they turn off the engine and use free gear in deserted areas.

The Standard
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