Boda boda operators from various villages in Juja, Kiambu County have decried increasing theft of their motorbikes by a high-tech syndicate of attackers with intel on their operations.
The riders who are operating in fear lament that the armed robbers who have been terrorizing them during the day and night have stolen seven motorbikes in the past one month.
Four riders from Murera village in the vast constituency are also alleged to have been killed by the daring criminals.
Most of the stolen motorbikes, they said, are loaned motorcycles and are usually taken away a few days before completing repayment of their loans.
Paul Chege, a rider, said he was recently attacked by one of the criminals who disguised himself as a customer and demanded to be ferried to a village within Juja at a cost of Sh 300.
Upon arrival, the alleged criminal called another man who he said was to pay the bill and on arrival, the two ganged up against Chege leaving him with bodily injuries.
Chege narrated that after confronting the two, one of them produced a rifle which he threatened to use in shooting him, compelling him to trade his life for the motorcycle alongside his phone and several keys.
He said that after hours of searching, his motorcycle was found near a river with key parts such as battery, engine and seat removed.
“We later found out that they had also removed the tank, dashboard, lights among other things leaving the shell near Ngoma Tupu river,” narrated Chege.
Joseph Macharia, a rider, regretted that the daring criminals are even stealing the motorbikes while parked inside plots.
“Most of the stolen ones are those with pending but small loans. The tracking systems are not assistive as none of the fitted systems has helped us recover even a single bike,” said Macharia.
Macharia further stated that their efforts to register motorcycles operating in their areas of jurisdiction to enable them easily identify unfamiliar ones has not been productive and suspected that the stolen ones are sold far away or dismantled and sold in parts.
“We are operating in fear as we can no longer trust even our customers. It’s high time that the relevant security details intervene and address our concerns,” Patrick Maina, another rider said.
They accused companies operating tracking systems for taking them in circles whenever they demand to know the whereabouts of their operating tools, fearing some of them could be abetting the growing crime.
The riders led by William Kiringu vowed to take action against any person found to be part of the gang regretting that police have not been able to contain the crime.
“Most of the stolen are rangers, TVs, boxers whose market we are yet to discover. We have lost over fifteen riders in Juja Sub- County as a whole in the last one or so years and the situation worsens every day. We will act on anyone found culpable without fear, we are very united on this,” he said.