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How crafty thieves stole Sh. 50m from KCB Thika Branch

The scene outside Thika KCB Branch on Monday when residents leart of the heist that saw the bank lose over sh. 50 million.
An unknown number of thieves pulled off a Hollywood-style heist in Thika Town by digging a tunnel to a bank and looting over Ksh. 50 million in cash.

The thugs dug a 2.5 feet wide tunnel to the strong room of the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) from an from a building adjoining the bank's store locker room. Reports suggest the tunnel was about 30 metres long and was about 1.5 meters high.

Confirming the incident, Kiambu Police Commander Adiel Nyange, the Thika KCB Bank Branch manager Mr. Samuel Nganga reported the theft at the Thika Police Station.

The manager says that when he opened the bank's strong room at 08.30 hrs Monday morning, he realised that unknown thieves had accessed the vault through an underground tunnel and stole approximately 50,000,000. They broke into two safes and are believed to have used oxy-Acytelene flame to drill holes into the safes.

After calling the police, investigations commenced and the tunnel led them to a rented building where the gang had been holed up before digging straight into the vault.

The robbery, reminiscent of the British-Hollywood flick "The Bank Job", created a sensation and hundreds of locals gathered there to see the unfolding drama.  

Police officers could be seen inspecting the tunnel, which seems to have escaped notice until the robbers had long gone. One of the four stalls in the building where the tunnel was dug from had cartons filled with soil and its windows covered with tints to hide the illicit activities.

The gang had been under surveillance for three months before the tunnel was discovered this morning. They had rented some stalls in the adjoining building where they disguised as books sellers.

"They had rented four stalls and disguised themselves as books sellers. It is from there that the planned and actually dug the tunnel," said Nyange.

The robbers had mapped the entire area and executed the crime with proper planning, keeping the entire neighbourhood in the dark.  

It seems that the work on the tunnel began three months ago and the project was impressively equipped.  

The group dug the tunnel, loading the soil into sacks and carrying it through a fork in the tunnel to the stalls that they had rented.
The building from which the thieves dug the tunnel into the bank and stole sh. 50 m
According to our sources, the tunnel was reinforced with wooden beams, a clear indication that this was the work of expert criminals and a new modus operandi which may need to be factored in by security agencies manning banks in the country

It is alleged that there used to be a lot of activity from the stalls and neighbours assumed that they had some booming business.

"They used to get cartons and cartons of  'books' a;most on a daily basis and everyone assumed that they were transporting them to their clients," explained one of our sources.

It was not until Monday morning when the heist was discovered that the neighbouring tenants discovered that the neatly sealed cartons had been used to ferry soil emanating from the tunnel.

Though the police admitted that the robbery was carried out after meticulous planning by the thieves, they could also not rule out the possibilities of an 'inside job' where a bank staff(s) or a former staff could have been involved.

The irony of it all is that all this happen within a building that directly faces the Thika Police Station which is just about 50 metres across the road.  

Three people, the agent and two others who hold the keys to the main door, are already in police custody but the main culprits are still at large.

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