Police have launched a hunt for two youthful women, who were on December 30, 2019, captured by surveillance cameras at Naivas Supermarket-Thika branch, dropping a bag that contained a gun at the luggage bay, and entering the premises before leaving without collecting their property. It wasn’t immediately known that the bag contained a firearm, police say.
Also found in the black shoulder bag on Thursday, January 9, were 40 rounds of ammunition, a laptop and undisclosed documents.
Naivas Thika Supermarket management says that they grew suspicious of the contents of the bag after it remained uncollected from their luggage shelves for ten days.
CCTV cameras show that two women, who had wrapped scarves around their heads, arrived at the mega store at 4pm on December 30, and dropped the bag at the bay before entering the supermarket briefly.
One of the women wore a pair of trousers and a top, whereas the other one donned a dress. Their faces were, however, visible, hence identifiable.
Thika Sub-County Police Commander, Beatrice Kiraguri, told K24 Digital that they have established the pistol was stolen from a licensed firearm holder earlier December 30 in Kandara, Murang’a County.
The firearm owner, who police did not reveal his identity, was attending a burial ceremony in Kandara, when his vehicle was broken into and the gun, 40 rounds of ammunition, a laptop, among other valuables stolen.
“The gun-holder reported the incident at Kandara Police Station the same day, and detectives commenced a search for the stolen property,” said Kiraguri.
The Thika police boss urged supermarket and mall administrators to ensure their security guards are sensitised on thorough body searches.
“I urge supermarkets, malls and other commercial premises that are regularly visited by members of the public to report to police cases of bags and belongings left unclaimed for more than one day,” said Kiraguri.
“Security starts with you and I. Imagine the devastating consequences that would have befallen us if the bag left at Naivas contained an explosive device; the entire structure would have been blown up!” said Kiraguri, adding: “A thorough body-search on customers should be done at supermarkets and malls.”
Naivas Thika manager, Daniel Mukuha, said they did not open the bag to see its contents as that would go against their policies.
Mukuha said they allowed the bag to remain on their shelves for the said-period because “they understood the confusing demands of the festive season on their customers”.
“However, when our staff members who handle customers’ luggage told us that the bag had stayed for abnormally long period on the shelf, we reported the incident to police,” Mukuha told K24 Digital.
“We are planning an emergency meeting with all our security personnel to chart a way forward following this shocking incident. Our customers’ safety is paramount,” added the manager.