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Video: How gun-toting robbers stole Sh25m from Bungoma bank

WESTERN
By Kamore Maina and Brian Okoth | Mar 2nd 2022 | 3 min read

The robbers’ pace wasn’t fast, indicating the confidence they had while conducting the brazen robbery. [Screengrab]

Within 23 seconds, cash stored in two reserves was carted away from Ushirika Bank in Kimilili, Bungoma County on Tuesday, March 1.

Police say at least Sh25 million was stolen by the armed robbers.

Eyewitnesses said the robbery occurred a few minutes past 1pm.

A 23-second CCTV footage obtained exclusively by The Standard shows two gun-toting men taking turns to cart away cash stored in grey steel boxes.

The robbers were armed with AK-47 rifles, with each holding the firearm in their right hand as they carried away the cash boxes in their left hands.

Their pace wasn’t fast, indicating the confidence they had while conducting the brazen robbery. That, perhaps, indicates the extent of police laxity in the area that has experienced a rise in crime cases of late.

Eyewitnesses said the robbers struck at 1pm, accessing the bank premises through the fence.

The suspects, thereafter, shot and injured two policemen manning the bank before storming into the banking hall.

One of the police officers, Senior Sergeant Boniface Hamisi was shot in both legs, while the other, Administration Police Constable Joseph Lomulen, was shot in the right knee.

Pauline Ouma, an eyewitness, said the robbers asked the clients and staff members of Ushirika Bank to lie on the floor as they accessed the cash vaults.

“They literally took all the cash boxes and carted them away. They had tried to move them through the teller barrier, but couldn’t. That’s when they resorted to carrying the boxes through the exit. They, thereafter, carried the cash boxes to a waiting vehicle. They were in no hurry,” she said.

Barasa Simiyu, a resident of Kimilili, accused police of negligence, saying the robbery would have been averted had the law enforcement officers been vigilant.

“Our police officers are complacent. If a crime is taking place in your locality, and you alert them, they take ages to arrive at the scene. I think we need an overhaul of the police officers in Kimilili,” said Simiyu.

The robbers also shot and injured Ushirika Bank manager, Kennedy Khalakai.

He alongside the other two victims were taken to Kimilili Sub-County Hospital and later transferred to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret for advanced treatment.

“They are all in stable conditions,” police said in a report filed at a Kimilili police station.

After emptying the cash from the steel boxes, the robbers dropped them at Wamunyili Village in Bumula at 7pm on Tuesday, March 1.

The suspects dropped the empty cash boxes at Bumula, almost 50kms from Kimilili in Bungoma County. [Courtesy, Google]

Juliet Mukhanya, a resident of Wamunyili Village, filed a report under the OB Number 12/1/3/2022 at Kabula police post, saying she heard a motor vehicle driving past her main gate at 7pm, and that sounds of steel boxes being dropped from the car could also be heard.

“On coming out [of the house], she found two empty grey steel boxes dropped opposite the feeder road,” the police report filed at 8:30pm reads.

“Efforts to establish details of the vehicle were fruitless,” added the report.

On Wednesday, March 2, police said they had arrested one suspect in connection with the Tuesday robbery.

“We are interrogating him to establish the identity of his accomplices,” Bungoma North Sub-County Police Commander Apollo Busolo told The Standard.

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