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Where you are likely to lose your phone in Nairobi

Nairobians, it appears, cannot do without their mobile phones.

Granted, the gadget has become a reliable medium of communication and business transactions across the world.

And so, it is common that you will spot Kenyans from all walks of life browsing through their phones while walking on the streets, working in the office, in meetings, at shops, while having their meals, or even in the living rooms.

Others have been spotted using the phones while driving or riding in personal cars or matatus.

This habit has brought about the habit of phone theft, where youthful men snatch the phone from the owner unawares.

A number of streets and highways within the capital are the most notorious for such incidents, with traffic buildups considered the perfect opportunity for the phone snatchers.

But where is it that you are likely to lose your phone in Nairobi?

Downtown CBD

This part of town is the busiest with single-lane roads, consisting of trucks making deliveries, hand cart pushers, and hawkers taking every free available space from the pavement to the roads.

Roads such as River Road, Kirinyaga road, Tom Mboya street, Ronald Ngala street, Racecourse road among others, have become the most dangerous places within Nairobi and one can lose his or her phone within seconds.

But police statistics show crime in these parts of town has dwindled with the presence of police officers on patrol making it harder for muggers and thieves to go about their crimes.

Haile Sellasie Avenue, Landhies Road, Jogoo Road

This stretch of road is a major entry and exit into town and is ever busy all day long.

So thieves have taken full advantage to snatch phones from passengers while in traffic mostly during evening hours. Upon snatching the phone, the thief will easily escape into Country Bus Station, Muthurwa, or Burma market to evade capture by traffic police on the road or angry citizens.

Ring Road Ngara and Juja Road Junction from Kariokor

This stretch of highway with up to 3-4 lanes is where thieves have shifted their base to from the town center, the road which connects to Thika road or Juja road is always busy with vehicles thus an ideal playground for thieves.

Matatu drivers and conductors are normally heard advising their passengers to close windows and be wary of phone snatches.

This has worked, but not quite.

The phone snatchers have since devised ways of opening vehicle windows and snatching the precious gadget. Some of these thieves are so daring that they snatch the phones in the presence of uniformed policemen patrolling the streets.

Githurai Roundabout

The Githurai exit and entry from the Thika road superhighway undoubtedly is one of the busiest stops along the 12-lane road with vehicles dropping and picking passengers, and the availability of a busy grocery market, the many hawkers along the roundabout all make room for a volatile crime hotspot.

But idle young men have devised ways of snatching phones from vehicles along the highway and service lane in the case of traffic build-up mainly brought about by accidents.

These young men sit on the guard rail or walk along the traffic to spot a potential victim who seems too distracted by their phone to notice what’s going on outside and thus pounce on the victim and get away with what they manage to.

Getting away is easy as the wide road, open fields, and busy bus stop make it easy for one to escape.