3 suspects arrested, over 100 stolen phones seized at a stall near Thika main stage.

A file photo of used cellphones
A security raid on Thursday afternoon netted three suspects believed to be part of a syndicate involved in the sale of stolen phones within Thika town.

Led by Municipality Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) Lazarus Obuar, the area chiefs and their assistants recovered 110 phones from a business stall next Thika Main Bus terminus, all believed to have been stolen within the CBD area.

This followed tip offs from members of the area security policing following public outcry due to the influx of muggings and picks pocketing within the CBD.

“We believe all these stolen phones. The stall owner has no record to authenticate any of them. I urge anyone who has lost their phones to kindly come forward and check if it is among those we found at the stall,” said Obuar.

The ACC also warned anyone who has bought phones or electronic gadgets from unauthorised dealers to also make a point of checking with them as such phones might have been involved in serious crimes before they were sold to them.

“If you know that you bought a second-hand phone anywhere around the (Thika) main stage which you suspect might not be from a genuine dealer, kindly come report to us as the phone might have been gotten after someone committing a serious crime thus landing you into problems with the law,” he warned.

According to Obuar, the stall was disguised as a phone repair and sales shop but the owner dealt with the sale phone stolen around town. The other two suspects are said to be brokers who collected the phones from the thieves and handed them over to the first suspect at a fee.

Thika location chief Samuel Kamau said that once the phone reached the said stall, the owner “flushed” or reprogrammed it to erase all data from their previous owners.

“Once the phone memory is completely wiped out, they then sell it to unsuspecting customers who used it as though it was new,” he explained.

Of late, there has been so many cases of muggings and pick pocketing within Thika town where so many people have lost their valuables and documents. The most notorious areas include the main bus terminus, Whiteline matatu terminus and along Commercial Street especially between Kihanya Building and the Thika Stadium wall when there is too much human traffic caused by the hawkers who sell during the evening.

There are also cases of muggings along Kenyatta Highway from Thika Arcade all the way to U-Shop area.

The residents we spoke to blame these cases of insecurity to laxity among the police officers especially those on patrol, saying that majority of the cases happened even when the police patrolled the area.

“These people work with some of these policemen and even if they are arrested, you just find them back here within a short time. The patrols do not help much. Most of these suspects are well known to the police,” lamented one resident.
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