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Suspected shoplifter in court for stealing food items worth Sh10,000

A suspected shoplifter who allegedly stole assorted food items and groceries worth Sh10,474 from Naivas Supermarket Embakasi Branch in Nairobi has been charged with theft contrary to section 268 read with section 275 of the Penal Code.

Ms Martha Mumbi Mbuthia alias Lucy Wangui was charged with stealing the items on May 26 at the Makadara Law Courts.

Ms Mbuthia was also charged with the offence of refusing to be fingerprinted contrary to Section 55 (5) of the National Police Service (NPS) Act of 2011, for allegedly refusing to be fingerprinted by Sergeant Lucy Nduati of Embakasi Police Station on 28 May.

The NPS Act requires all criminal suspects to be fingerprinted for profiling and criminal records.

Also read: Shoplifter awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to theft of cooking oil

The suspect was also charged with handling stolen goods contrary to Section 322 (2) of the Penal Code, where she was accused of dishonestly retaining the food and groceries she allegedly stole from the retail outlet in the course of stealing them, knowing or having reason to believe that they were stolen goods.

She denied the charges before Senior Resident Magistrate Mercy Malingu and accused the police of harassing her while she was detained at the station.

Ms Nduati, however, denied the allegations of harassment and sought a warrant of arrest to detain Ms Mbuthia until Friday to ascertain her identity.

Ms Nduati said Ms Mbutia had refused to produce her national identity card and she needed time to write to the National Registration Bureau to establish the suspect’s identity.

Sergeant Nduati said the suspect is known as Lucy Wangui in Nyayo Estate in Embakasi where she lives and there was a need to verify her real identity.

Ms Mbuthia was allegedly arrested after she was caught on CCTV leaving the supermarket with the items she had not paid for.

Supermarket staff stopped her outside while pushing a trolley containing the food.

Also read: Shoplifter pleads guilty to stealing foodstuff worth Sh1500 at supermarket

The suspect was asked to produce receipts to prove that she had paid, but she did not have any and was given time to pay but was unable to do so.

The supermarket staff escorted Ms Mbuthia to Embakasi police station with the items she had allegedly stolen, where she was arrested and detained.

The accused was arrested barely a month after being charged with stealing food items worth Sh4,539 from Quickmart Supermarket Embakasi Branch on 19 April this year.

She had been released on bail after denying the charges at the Makadara magistrate’s court.

When she appeared before Ms Malingu, the suspect pleaded for leniency, telling the court that she had young children who depended solely on her and that her father was in hospital.

Ms Malingu granted her bail in the sum of Sh50,000 pending a pre-bail report which will be filed on Friday, June 2, during the mention of the case.

Also read: Nyeri supermarket owner finds new trick to catch shoplifters