Notorious vandal who has been stealing Kenya Power equipment arrested
A multi-agency team, consisting of police officers, detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and officials from the Kenya Power Company on Wednesday arrested a suspected vandal in Machakos County.
The DCI said the suspect was arrested during a crackdown on a syndicate that has been vandalizing electricity transformers, cables and other electricity equipment in the country.
“A raid was conducted at a palatial home in Mutonguini, Machakos County, where five sacks of vandalized aluminum wires were recovered,” the DCI said.
Police believe the arrested suspect is the ringleader of the syndicate which has been targeting property belonging to Kenya Power Company in Machakos County.
According to police records, Kenya Power has recorded more than 220 incidents of vandalism across the country especially in the counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos and Nakuru.
The company says it has been incurring losses running into millions of shillings as a result of vandalism. The company also says vandalism has in the past been the cause of frequent power blackouts in several parts of the country.
“Last year, detectives working with Kenya Power Company-based investigators unearthed an elaborate network of third party agents who were working with crooked former employees of the power distributor, to intentionally occasion blackouts in order to generate income through reconnection of power,” DCI said in a statement.
The DCI further said the former Kenya Power employees would then impersonate the firm’s officials and approach the affected residents, ask for a fee to reconnect the power to their homes.
It also emerged that the former employees had been frustrating efforts by genuine employees to restore power in the affected areas. They would unplug fuses from transformers as soon as the genuine staff had left.
A month ago Scrap Metal Council (SMC) chairman Francis Mugo warned that stern action would be taken against vandals.
According to the Scrap Metal Act 2015, Section 9(1), a person shall not deal in scrap metal unless he has a licence issued by the council and is a member of the Scrap Metal Dealers Association.
The penalty for offenders is a fine not exceeding Sh10 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
For a second offence, the penalty is a fine not exceeding Sh20 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.