Five-member gang behind city taxi carjackings arrested
Police have arrested a five-member gang that is believed to be behind a spate of carjackings targeting taxi operators.
The five, according to the police, operate between Githurai, Ruiru and Kirigiti in Kiambu County with their main target being Little Cab drivers.
Police describe Peter Njoroge Kirika, John Muchoki Gatuhu, John Kimani Nganga, Peter Mwangi Murima and Benson Itimu Kariuki as so organised that one of them poses like a usual passenger but once inside the cab, he squeezes the driver’s neck from the back seat and commandeers the car to a secluded area where his accomplices join him.
“The driver is then robbed of his valuables after being assaulted and his vehicle vandalised,” police said.
Last Wednesday, one of the thugs using a fake identity requested to be taken to Kirigiti from Githurai Kimbo, to allegedly pick his ailing mother who needed urgent medical attention.
According to the police, the driver followed instructions and on reaching Kirigiti where they were supposed to pick an ailing woman, a male adult emerged and entered the vehicle instead.
The vehicle was then commandeered to Sassini coffee bushes where three more thugs emerged and vandalised the vehicle making away with the headlights, tail lights, side mirrors, mirror switches, car battery and the spare wheel.
A few days later the gang is believed to have carjacked two other cab drivers in a similar fashion, robbing them of their valuables before vandalising their cars and abandoning them in Mwihoko, Githurai in the dead of the night.
Three of the suspects are said to be ex-convicts who had been jailed for various capital offenses, including robbery with violence and murder.
Police said the gang operates with a specialised mechanic, who vandalises a vehicle within minutes of a carjacking and a customer relations expert, who lures unsuspecting taxi drivers to their trap.
Police recovered a vehicle used by the gang, assorted keys, screw drivers and sacks for carrying the dismantled motor vehicle parts.
Also recovered were original identity cards belonging to victims of crime, used to register SIM cards and lure unsuspecting cab drives and a mobile phone for making taxi requests.
The suspects have been detained for 10 days after a Ruiru court granted police the period to complete their investigation.