Four men were lynched by residents after they were allegedly caught stealing goats in Mithuthi-ini village, Tebere Ward, in Kirinyaga County on Monday around 5 am.
Residents reportedly had a suspicion that the thieves would raid following a spike in similar incidences and lay in wait for them.
Mwea East Deputy Police Commander Lucas Chebet said two suspects managed to escape while the rest were beaten by angry villagers who were armed with machetes and crude weapons.
“When we were informed about the attack, our officers rushed to the scene and found the four already killed. They had cuts all over. The residents should have informed the police to arrest the suspects instead of taking the law into their hands,” he said.
The police chief added that the bodies of the suspects, which have been removed to the Kerugoya County Hospital mortuary and are yet to be identified.
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He said they were investigating the incident and would bring to book any villager who participated in taking the law into their own hands.
Residents who were reluctant to speak to the press recounted how thieves had raided them and stolen their livestock.