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Langata trio charged with stealing from passengers

Three men believed to be members of a gang that has been stealing mobile phones from passengers along city highways while posing as matatu operators are facing charges of theft and handling stolen property at the Kibera law courts.

They are Vincent Omeda Obongo, Mohammed Ndote and Edwin Kimani.

In the first count, they are accused of stealing a mobile phone worth Sh10, 000 from Zacharia Shikunyi Oketch along Langata road on March 30, 2022.

The trio was also charged with stealing a mobile phone worth Sh18, 000 from a passenger namely Peter Kamau Mungai on the same date along the same highway.

They are also accused of stealing a mobile phone from Hujale Abdille in Donholm in Embakasi on the same day.

The suspects were also charged with stealing Fredrick Makau Mailu’s phone worth Sh10, 000 along Mombasa road in Langata Sub County on March 30 jointly with others at large.

They face four alternative charges of handling stolen phones after they were allegedly found in possession of the phones at the time of arrest along Langata road.

They are accused of dishonestly retaining the phones, knowing them to have been stolen or illegally obtained, in the course of stealing them.

They were accosted in a matatu registration number KAT 213P operating under “Namis Sacco” along Langata road by police officers Peterson Ngari and John Gathi and found with nine mobile phones that police say are reasonably suspected to have been stolen.

The suspects had been using the matatu currently detained at Langata police station to lure victims before stealing from them while posing as genuine public transport services providers.

All the victims lost their phones in similar circumstances where they would board the matatu only to be told the co-driver’s door is loose and as they moved to close it, the driver and one of the suspects posing as a passenger would ransack their pockets before ordering them to alight. The matatu would then speed off.

The three suspects denied the charges before senior principal magistrate Esther Bhoke.

They were released on a cash bail of Sh100, 000 and an alternative surety bond of Sh300, 000.

The case will be mentioned on April 27.