Several robbery incidents have been reported in Keroka town located at the border of Kisii and Nyamira counties. [iStockphoto]

Residents of Kisii and Nyamira counties have decried increasing cases of attacks by criminal gangs.

They said other than losing their valuables, the criminals have injured and maimed many and called on the police to intervene.

The gangs are said to be behind a spate of insecurity incidents that have rocked the two counties over the past two months.

On Thursday night, suspected gang members who were armed with a pistol, raided a business premises belonging to the parents of Standard Group Editor Evelyn Kwamboka in Nyamaiya town and stole over Sh20,000, mobile phones and other valuables. They left Kwamboka's mother and a security guard with injuries.

The victim, Faustine Kiage, said the criminals posed as customers before taking her hostage and demanding cash.

"It was around 9pm and we were planning to close when the incident happened. We thought they were customers. I was about to serve them when they go hold of me and demanded that I give them money," Ms Kiage said from her hospital bed at Nyamira County Referral Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

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She added: "They held me and my husband hostage in the shop and demanded that we give them money and our mobile phones."

Her husband, Joseph Kiage, was not hurt during the incident. Their night guard who was on duty was hit with a blunt object.

"They accosted me when I was going to find out what the commotion inside the shop was all about. I first heard a gunshot before one of them hit me in the head," the guard said.

The gang later stormed the home of the late chief Evans Ongoro and attacked family members before making away with their phones.

The victims said they had just arrived at their Nyansaga home minutes before 10pm when they were attacked.

Last week, police from Kisii arrested a suspected criminal who had been at large for months.

A source within the police said the suspect, who has been on police radar, tried to resist arrest and even dared the officers and community policing members threatening to shoot them. He was later arrested and forced to surrender an AK 47 riffle he had.

Another suspect

His arrest at Birongo in Nyaribari Chache came after the killing of another suspect in a botched robbery incident in Nairobi. The suspect, who was buried at Nyangena, was believed to have been the former's accomplice. 

Several robbery incidents have also been reported in Keroka town located at the border of Kisii and Nyamira counties.

A month ago, police gunned down three armed criminals along the Kisii-Migori road and recovered an AK 47 riffle.

Those killed were suspected to have been involved in the killing of a security guard at Suneka market the previous month before escaping with an unknown amount of money.

Yesterday, Nyamira County Criminal Investigations Officer Paul Makonge could not comment as he said he was held up. "I am held up somewhere, l will revert," he said.

West Mugirango MP Steve Mogaka called on the security agencies to up their game and curb the rising insecurity cases in the area.

"We are concerned that criminal are walking freely. Police should investigate and take action. Let us not give up but assure our people that the criminals will not have a place to hide," Mogaka said.