Police in Nairobi recover more than 260 stolen phones
Police in Nairobi have recovered more than 260 mobile phones stolen in armed robberies and muggings in the CBD and in Kayole estate.
Some 154 phones, two laptops and an ipad were recovered from technicians in phone repair shops in downtown Nairobi by officers from Kamukunji Police Station while 108 others were recovered from a shop in Kayole.
ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE
Nairobi Central sub county police commander (SCPC) Stanley Atavachi on Sunday said seven suspects are in custody at Kamukunji Police Station.
Atavachi said police working with other agencies used International Mobile Equipment Identification (IMEI) numbers to trace several owners of the stolen phones and those who came forward reported being robbed.
“The seven will be charged with robbery with violence and an alternative charge of handling stolen property because to us they are the perpetrators of the robberies until they prove they did not participate in in it,” Atavachi said.
In Kayole, police traced a stolen phone to a shop where they found the 108 gadgets, all smartphones on Saturday. The owner of the phone had being robbed.
Kayole SCPC Wilson Kosngey said police officers found a gadget used for reprogramming of mobile phones.
The equipment is used to distort phone identification features and disable tracking systems before it is sold to the next user.
The owners of the shop identified as Joseph Makori fled and police are still pursuing him.
Kosngey is appealing to victims of robberies and others who have lost their phones to report to Kayole Police Station.
Inspector Noor Abdi of Kamukunji Police Station has been leading operations to arrest the technicians suspected of buying the phones from muggers and robbers before reprogramming and selling them, or vandalizing them to remove resalable parts.
Abdi has charged close to 10 technicians with handling suspected stolen property because they could not show the owners despite claiming they are repairing the phones for them.
They include Brown Munundi Ukutoyi, Moses Njuguna Muchunga and Benjamin Onjiambo who were arrested with three mobile phones each.
The three were arrested in possession of three mobile phones each in their shops along Mfangano and Ronald Ngala Streets.
They all denied charges of possession of suspected stolen property before Makandara Chief Magistrate Heston Nyaga on October 7 and were released on a cash bail of Sh 50,000.