How cops ‘stumbled’ on robbery suspect who had mugged female police officer
A 21-year-old water vendor who snatched a police officer’s handbag in Nairobi before being arrested by other police officers on suspicion of being in possession of a stolen phone has gotten a reprieve after the officer forgave him.
Mr Ian Otieno had been charged with stealing a mobile phone worth Sh42,000, a handbag valued at Sh2,000 and Sh600 in it, all valued at Sh44,600 from Police Constable Sadia Adan on August 27, 2023 in Kamukunji, Nairobi contrary to section 279 (a) of the penal code.
The accused denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Mary Njagi of the Makadara Law Courts. However, PC Adan made an application to withdraw the case against the suspect because the items she lost were all recovered by her colleagues.
But prosecution counsel Moraa Rongito opposed the application to have the matter dropped citing increased cases of theft and sought more time to review the police file and make a decision.
The suspect is also facing an alternative charge of handling stolen goods contrary to section 323 of the Penal Code after he was found with PC Adan’s phone by Police Constables Richard Chelimo and Johnpaul Mutwiri on August 28, 2023.
Mr Otieno is accused of being in possession of the phone suspected to be stolen or unlawfully obtained at the time of his arrest by the two officer.
On that day, PC Adan, who is attached to Machakos Road Police Depot in Industrial Area – Nairobi, had boarded a Tuktuk near Burma Market around midday when Mr Ian entered the Tuktuk and grabbed her handbag and fled with it.
She reported the matter at Shauri Moyo Police Station. The next day, while the two officers from Shauri Moyo Police Station were on patrol in Majengo, they met Mr Otieno with a mobile phone they suspected he had stolen and summoned him.
They switched off the phone and told him to switch it on and he could not, which confirmed their suspicion that he had stolen it.
The suspect was arrested and escorted to the police station where they called PC Adan who arrived and positively identified the phone and the suspect as the one who robbed her.
The accuse will remain in custody at the Nairobi Area Remand and Allocation Prison in Industrial Area until September 22, 2023 when the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) will take a decision about the complainant’s application to withdraw the case.