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How ‘boring guy’ planned the Sh27m heist at Equity Bank in Kayole

A “boring guy” who kept to himself. For the two and a half months that he lived next to Equity Bank’s Kayole Branch, he never talked to neighbours and his door was under lock and key even when he went to the shop, just 10 metres away.

The mysterious man, who detectives believe colluded with bank staff to plan the Saturday night theft, locked his room and went under after the heist.

Although Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome said the bank had not disclosed the amount of money stolen as its officers were still reconciling their records, it is estimated at more than Sh27 million.

INVESTIGATIONS

Mr Koome however confirmed that several bank employees, two security guards and one other person were being investigated over the heist.

The main suspect had rented one of the single-roomed units in a court sharing the rear wall with the bank, whose entrance faces the road in the opposite direction.

“He has been living here, even though I did not see him when he arrived,” said a businessman in an adjacent building. “The premises are usually used for business but he lived there.”

He said he never saw anyone visit the neighbour, whose name he never bothered to ask as he was a loner.

Another neighbour said the man, probably in his 30s, liked to wear a pair of jeans and jerseys branded with different football club colours.

Police suspect the unidentified man had been drilling the shared wall, and when he finally created a hole that was big enough, he and his accomplices entered the bank. They broke into the strongroom and made away with the money kept in two huge safes.

As this happened, the security guard from the G4S was manning the bank’s entrance, oblivious of the theft that police suspect took over 10 hours.

And although the theft extended to Sunday morning, the branch manager, Mr Crispo Maina, said they learnt of it at around 3pm.

ATM SIGNAL

In his report at the police station, he said the ICT department at the bank’s head office had alerted him that the ATM signal at the branch was down. Another employee, Mr Simon Kamau, was then sent to check on it and reported that the PIN pad at the entrance of the bank had been tampered with.

Yesterday, Mr Maina refused to speak with the media on the matter, saying he was not authorised to do so. Several calls to the bank’s communication office at head office were unanswered.

“We are hopeful that we will be able to arrest the robbers because the leads we have are crucial,” Mr Koome said.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations detectives said the CCTV system at the branch had been tampered with and the burglar alarm deactivated.

“There must have been employees who colluded with the robbers because they had details about the bank,” said one of the DCI officers. “This is a well-planned heist.”
Police found two gas cylinders and welding machines, as well as two blankets and several metallic tools.

No money was recovered.
Only last year, robbers posing as auditors from head office stole Sh30 million from the bank’s Othaya Branch in Nyeri County.