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Stolen shoes lead Nyeri mechanics to tools and spare parts thief

By Murimi Mwangi | July 2nd 2014
Muchori had a long day begging an angry mob of mechanics in Nyeri not to lynch him. He was cornered in possession of one of the mechanic's shoes. [PHOTOS: SAMMY MOSE/ STANDARD]

NYERI COUNTY: Kenyans have a tendency of giving suspected thieves a ‘generous’ beating in an effort to coerce them to disclose the names of their partners in crime.

And just when the crook has given a detailed list of his accomplices, there is a ‘philanthropic’ Kenyan read to donate an old tyre.

There is rarely a lack of volunteers to rush to the nearest petrol station for a litre of kerosene with which to light the rubber ‘necklace’.

This elaborate sequence recently played out in Nyeri when a group of mechanics nabbed a suspected serial thief who reportedly specialised in pinching vehicle spare parts from local garages.

Apparently, Muchori, or Master Planner as he is now called, had a habit of prowling around Nyeri garages picking spanners and vehicle spare parts.

In the latest incident – according to one of the mechanics – Muchori reportedly took off with a pair of shoes belonging to a mechanic who was at the time working on a faulty vehicle.

A day after committing the crime, Muchori pranced around Nyeri town near a downtown garage wearing the shoes and apparently without a care in the world.

But, as usually happens in such cases, the owner of the shoes spotted Muchori and raised the alarm.

He chased Muchori, wrestled him to the ground and repossessed his shoes while still yelling, “Thief! Thief!” This attracted a mob of local mechanics who surrounded the thief baying for his blood.

Interestingly, Muchori was flamboyantly dressed in a black T-shirt bearing the words “Kusema na Kutenda (to say and to do),” which perfectly matched the black shoes.

Then the ritual started – albeit rather dramatically with the owner of a ballast-ferrying lorry demanding to know who had stolen his vehicle’s battery.

Muchori, after receiving a few punches and kicks, became generous with information — confessing that he stole the battery to power his “home music system”.

Just then, a mechanic narrated how he had been forced to dig into his pockets to replace a client’s vehicle washers – which mysteriously disappeared from the garage while he was lying under the vehicle tightening the centre bolt.

“My friend, you must tell us who you sell these parts to or we are going to ‘excommunicate’ you from this world,” said the mechanic angrily.

Another lamented how he was forced to go back to the shops after losing his box of spanners to some crooks and demanded to know who Muchori had sold them to and how much money he had made from the sale.

Muchori told them where the washers and spanners were – stuffed somewhere in a rickety residential house in the Majengo slums.

Just then, a big-hearted on-looker volunteered a humongous tyre to the mob, which had vowed that Muchori “would serve as a lesson” to like-minded folk.

A boda boda operator spotted the philanthropist rolling the tyre to the scene and offered to “milk” some petrol from his motorbike to help finish the job.

But the gods must have been working overtime for Muchori because as soon as the boda boda rider was done ‘milking’, police barged in, dispersed the mob and whisked him to a waiting Land Rover.

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