Public uproar over increased cases of robberies in Thika.

Hawkers selling their wares near the Uhuru and Commercial Streets roundabout. This area has been a pain in the neck especially in the evening when thieves take advantage of human congestion to steal from unsuspecting residents.
There has been public outcry across Thika Town and its environs over escalating cases of violent robberies, muggings, drugging thefts and conning and robberies which they say are happening in broad daylight.

The worst case scenario involves motorbike thugs who target lone women walking with handbags. These thugs most ride in pairs and once they spot a victim, they ride towards them snatch the handbags and speed off, leaving the victim confused and unaware what to do.

This happens mostly between 6 and 7 am in the morning as well as between 6 and 9pm in the evenings.

The CBD, around Section 9 and 2 Estates, Ngoingwa, around the main bus station, Mukiriti area, General Kago Road and near the Gatitu junction are the worst hit areas. Others include the Kiganjo bypass near Engen Petrol Station, near Delta Petrol station Polysack and BAT areas of Makongeni.

Hawkers.

The influx of hawkers in the evenings has also given muggers and pickpockets a field day. Criminals are now taking advantage of the human traffic congestion to pick from people’s pockets and ladies’ handbags.

(Related Story: Armed Robberies, Petty Crimes on The Prowl In Thika.)

Teresa Wambui is one such victim after someone after she lost her personal belongings through pickpockets during the evening rush hour.

“Last week, I lost my personal effects as I was walking through the crowd along Commercial Street, somewhere between Kassmatt Supermarket and Thika Arcade. Someone unzipped my handbag and stole my pulse and phone,” explains Wambui.

Pickpockets around that area target those buying from the hawkers or people carrying luggage that distract their vision or concentration and are in a rush to board matatus home.

Just yesterday (Wednesday), a local politician lost her cellphone and other personal effects from her car as two people distracted her as she was preparing to drive off from Vineyard Hospital in near the 
Thika Stadium Roundabout.

“I had just finished purchasing some drugs from their chemist. As I was about to start the engine, someone knocked the driver’s window ‘probably to tell me something very urgent,” she narrated.

As she stopped to listen to this young man, another one swung open the passenger’s door and made away with everything that was placed on the seat, losing her phone and her son's medication all valued at Sh. 23,100.

On the same day, an electronics shop attendant at Simkan Agencies lost 10 hard disks valued at Sh. 140,000 near the Thika Lands Offices to a man who had introduced himself as a county government official working in the physical planning department.

“My boss called me from Kilifi instructing me to supply the items to a client who had ordered them via the phone. This client disappeared with the goods immediately after I delivered them to him. This happened as I was busy recording their serial numbers,” recalled Alexander Kimani.

“We met on the third floor of the lands office where he sampled one of the hard disks and agreed to pay for them in cash after bargaining. However, as I turned to pick the receipt book from the envelope that I had placed aside, the man picked the hard disks and disappeared,” added Kimani.

(See also: Thika police nab two bag-snatching moped muggers.)

How the thief escaped is still a mystery to him but he suspects that he might have drugged him with some concoctions.

Kimani later reported the incident at Thika Police Station.


While acknowledging these incidents, Thika West Police Commander Willy Simba discouraged victims from rushing to the social media whenever they fell prey to these criminals as this made it almost impossible to apprehend them.
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