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Matatu crew in court for stealing employer’s matatu from police station

A driver and conductor who allegedly stole their employer’s matatu from Mwiki Police Station in Nairobi have pleaded guilty to charges of stealing a motor vehicle contrary to section 278 (a) of the penal code.

Mr Caleb Abinayo, a conductor, and his driver, Kelvin Kamau Macharia, were charged with stealing the 14-seater matatu whose value is Sh800,000 belonging to Bonidace Waithaka on May 8, 2023.

They admitted the charges before Chief Magistrate Francis Kyambia at the Makadara Law Courts in Nairobi.

The two were to be charged with an alternative charge of handling stolen property after they were arrested with the matatu in Mai Mahiu in Nakuru County on May 11, 2023, but the same was dropped after they admitted the theft charges.

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Mr Abinayo is separately facing an alternative charge of giving false information to a person employed by the public service contrary to section 129 (b) of the penal code.

In the charge, Mr Abinayo is accused of informing police constables John Kago and his colleagues that his matatu had been stolen from Mwiki Police Station yard on May 8, 2023 knowing the same was not true. He also admitted the charge before Mr Kyambia.

The said matatu had been detained at the police station awaiting inspection after it was impounded. Thereafter Mr Abinayo went to the yard and drove the matatu out of the station. He later returned claiming to be the owner of the vehicle which he said had been stolen.

Mr Abinayo went ahead and recorded a statement with the police over the matter. Later on, while police were investigating the theft of the matatu, Mr Waithaka turned up at the station and reported it missing.

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Mr Waithaka also recorded a statement with police and produced the vehicle’s logbook. He told the police that the matatu had a tracking device that was traced to Mai Mahiu.

Officers at Mwiki Police Station sent a national signal for the matatu to be intercepted if spotted anywhere. The matatu was subsequently impounded in Gatarakwa area in Mai Mahiu where the two were arrested.

The two were remanded in custody until May 15, 2023 when the state will table evidence and exhibits in the case before they are convicted and sentenced. The prosecution will avail pictures of the vehicle that is lying at Mwiki Police Station as exhibits in the case.

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