A phone snatcher from Kiganjo village in Thika, Kiambu County, was today lynched by an angry mob after he allegedly fled from Makongeni Police station.
The middle-aged man only known as Santos was cornered by irked residents who claimed that he had been a mastermind of a mugging business in Thika Sub-County.
Thika Sub-county deputy police commander Moses Sirma who confirmed the incident said that the young man's body was taken to General Kago mortuary.
"The man who is aged 35 years is from Madharau village and has been on police radar. We have been arresting and taking him to court but after release on bail, he has been resuming the illegal business and I think this is what angered members of the public," said Sirma.
Eyewitnesses said that Santos was arrested by fuming locals after he abandoned his motorcycle to run on foot.
"This man is known for high impunity. He is usually arrested, taken to court and later released only to get back to his mugging business. We could not allow him to continue robbing us," one of the residents said.
His death comes after police in Thika unearthed a mobile phone theft syndicate that has been terrorizing residents.
Last week, Kiambu County police commander Ali Nuno revealed that sleuths have arrested seven suspects who are believed to be behind the syndicate in the busy town.
The seven were arrested by an anti-mugging squad composed of officers drawn from the sub-county after snatching several phones from members of the public while using motorbikes as escape automobiles.
Four smartphones, a personal car and a motorcycle that the suspects have been using to aid in their crime operations are still being held at Thika police station.
The suspects, Nuno said, were arrested in their hideouts in the sprawling Kiandutu slums where they are said to have been hiding.
Among those arrested in an intelligence-led operation is Peter Wambua, the driver of the impounded vehicle alongside the bodaboda operator.
At the same time, Nuno decried that a poor judicial system that releases such criminals on friendly bails has been the weakest link in the fight against crime.
He said that after releasing the criminals on bail, they immediately resume their criminal activities leaving residents desperately seeking help that the police cannot satisfactorily offer.
The county police boss however said they were working closely with the court users committee to ask the courts to give criminals deterrent punishments.
“In our usual court users committee, we have and will continue to seek deterrent punishments for these criminals because they have become notorious and their continued release on bail has also been making our work very hard,” he said.