Eldoret court hands temporary freedom to motor vehicle theft suspects
Six people suspected to be behind a syndicate of stealing and dismantling stolen vehicles in Eldoret town and its environs were on October 13, 2023, each released on Sh10,000 cash bail pending investigations.
The suspects who included a women leader from Akorino church were arrested in Kapsoya estate on the outskirts of Eldoret town following a tip-off from members of the public.
While appearing before Senior Resident Magistrate Rosemary Onkoba, the suspects did not take a plea as police informed the court that they were yet to complete investigations.
Preliminary investigations had indicated that the dismantled vehicles had been stolen from neighboring counties.
While making an application to detain the suspects, investigating officer Rosemary Nyokabi from Naiberi police station told the court that detectives were yet to complete investigations and hence needed more time to complete investigations before charging the suspects accordingly.
Through her sworn affidavit, Ms Nyokabi told the court that although the main witnesses had not recorded statements, owners of the stolen property were yet to be identified.
Ms Nyokabi told the court that police were yet to ascertain the ownership of the vehicles through the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA).
The court was also told that the suspects were also found in possession of electronic goods suspected to have been stolen and just like the vehicles, the owners of electronic goods which included, Television sets and radios were yet to identify the goods.
Lawyers representing the accused objected to their detention terming it as a delay tactic to subject their clients to unnecessary suffering.
“My client had been detained at Kapsoya police station for more than the required time as per the law, police would have used the period they were in custody to complete investigations,” said lawyer Ignatius Mwaka as he objected to the application.
They directed the suspects to be released on a cash bail of Sh10,000 each pending investigation.
While making the ruling the magistrate stated that the prosecution did give the court compelling reasons to detain the suspects for the said period.
“The application by prosecution does not meet the threshold to detain the respondents for ten days, I therefore release the suspects on cash bail of sh10,000,” directed the Magistrate.
The magistrate further ordered the respondents to report at the police station once a week or whenever they are required by the police.
The matter will be mentioned on October 23. Police in Eldoret have arrested five suspects who were found dismantling stolen cars at an incomplete house under construction in the town
Speaking after arresting the suspects on October 11, Uasin Gishu County police commander Benjamin Mwanthi said the suspects were arrested following a tip-off from the public.
Mr Mwanthi said spare parts for several vehicles were found in the house and police also recovered eight TV sets and other items after searching the house.