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Police issue update on status of woman robbed at gunpoint in Ongata Rongai

Surveillance cameras in the woman’s living room caught the robbers manhandling and stealing the victim’s electronics on June 12, 2022. [Courtesy of CCTV]

Two people have been arrested in connection with the armed robbery incident caught on surveillance cameras at Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County on Sunday.

In the video clips, the robbers, five in number, emerged from the dark while their victim, a middle-aged woman, was driving into her homestead.

They, thereafter, smashed her car windows and ordered her to come out of her car. The thugs then stole her personal items and frogmarched her into the house, where they stole more belongings, including her sound system.

The incident occurred at 2:20am on June 12 on Gataka Road, Ongata Rongai.

There were allegations that the robbers stole the victim’s bank cards and mobile money details, and later withdrew Sh250,000 from her accounts.

The reports suggested that it was the said-withdrawal of funds that led police to the suspects’ hideout at Mwiki, Kasarani Sub-County.

Police Spokesperson Bruno Shioso has told The Standard that the reports were inaccurate.

“We have two people in our custody who are assisting police with investigations. It’s not true that they were traced to Mwiki. We arrested one yesterday (Monday, June 13) and another this morning (Tuesday). Both were arrested within the Nairobi metropolis,” said Shioso.

“I’d also wish to clarify that no cash (Sh250,000) was recovered from the suspects.”

According to Shioso, police have made “significant progress” with the investigations.

The CCTV recordings showed two of the suspects frogmarching their victim into a room that had no cameras. There were fears online that the thugs could have physically or sexually assaulted the woman.

Shioso says fortunately she wasn’t abused.

“The victim was traumatised by the incident. Fortunately, the criminals did not physically violate her. She is out of danger,” he said.

Asked whether police have offered temporary security to the victim as investigations continue, Shioso said: “As a standard measure, we have ensured that we protect her, given the incident is still under active investigation.”

The police spokesperson said the protection has been extended to the victim’s house-help, who witnessed the robbery incident, as she was the one who opened the gate for her employer at 2am.

There were reports that police officers at the post located near the robbery scene were transferred, with a new team installed. The said-orders were attributed to Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang’i.

“That’s not true. There’s a process governing the reshuffling of police officers and the procedure has to be followed.”

The Standard reached an Interior ministry communications representative who said: “The CS doesn’t enjoy unilateral powers to transfer police officers without following the due procedure. The process of transferring the law enforcement officers has to be initiated by the National Police Service under the directive of the Inspector-General of Police.”

On allegations that the ring-leader of the armed robbers, who attacked the Ongata Rongai woman, was a former police officer, Shioso said: “That’s an unfair statement. It’s not right to relate any person toting a gun to the police service. However, if it’s established that there was a former or active member of the police service among the robbers, appropriate action will be taken.”

The police spokesperson said security surveillance and patrol in Ongata Rongai has been heightened to avert cases of robbery.

“It’s impossible to completely stop crime from happening. The police to civilian ratio can’t be one-to-one. However, we’ve improved our intelligence, co-operation and surveillance to ensure we minimise cases of crime in the area,” said Shioso.