Robbery syndicate now targeting cows in Tharaka Nithi County

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 19 Sep, 2022 12:10 | 3 mins read
Robbery syndicate now targeting cows in Tharaka Nithi County
Murithi Nyaga, a resident of Kirege and the latest victim of dairy cow theft explaining his incident

A robbery syndicate is now targeting cows and other livestock such as goats in a new wave of robbery witnessed in Kirege, Chuka/Igambang’ombe Constituency.

Within a month, over four cases of livestock theft have been reported in the area, raising security concerns among member of the public, the latest episode being on Thursday 15, September 2022.

According to Murithi Nyaga, thieves broke into his home at around 4 AM, and made away with his dairy cow worth Ksh150,000.

On that fateful morning, the thieves accessed his home after cutting through a barbed wire fence, making their way to his cow shed and stole his cow.

Upon hearing footsteps outside, Murithi woke up and made checks around his house when he realized that his cow was missing from its shed.

He immediately alerted his neighbors to try and catch up with the thieves who had already drove off in a getaway vehicle.

Murithi explained that the robbers must have cooperated with locals to execute the plan, after two of his guard dogs died mysteriously days to the robbery.

One of his dogs he says disappeared while the other developed poisoning conditions.

Two days after reporting the matter to the police, Murithi said he received information that two men, a Kikuyu and his counterpart from Chuka had been reported arrested in possession of a cow in Karatina after the two failed to account for its ownership.

He reported the matter to Chuka Police station and according to him, no action was taken to look for any connection in the two cases.

“Days after reporting the robbery to the police nothing so far has been done to help me track the whereabouts of my cow. Even after visiting the police station with information that could connect them to my case following reports in the media, no action has been taken to assist me get justice. Why then should we be reporting cases to the police yet no action is being taken?” he questioned.

Two days after the robbery, Murithi said that he bumped into people disguised as hawkers selling baskets at his neighbor’s home, and after confronting them, they escaped to never return.

According to Murithi, the two were possibly surveying the home for a possible robbery since the owner of the home was away.

On that same day, motorcycle robbers had made away with an unidentified number of sheep grazing by the roadside in broad daylight at the home of one of his neighbours.

Days before Murithi’s incident, the robbery syndicate had made away with a dairy cow belonging to Mbae Mugo, a resident of the same village in Kirege.

According to Mugo, who usually woke up at 3 AM to milk his cows woke up at 5 AM that fateful day due to other commitments he had planned for the day, to find his cow missing from its shed.

Upon news of the robbery at his home, Mugo explained that a resident had informed him of seeing a foreign vehicle that seemed to be ferrying a cow that morning, that branched towards Embu in high speed.

“We have had cases of chicken and goat robbery before but this is the first time the robbers made away with a cow. They seem to be targeting dairy cows with a huge volume of milk since they left my other cows behind. This seems to be a well-organized gang that is well informed”, he said.

Gitonga Boore, a resident explained how guard dogs saved the day during a robbery attempt in his home.

Gitonga said they heard constant dog barks days after Murithi’s cow was stolen, and upon going out to check the situation, saw the robbers escape the scene.

“We have a major challenge with security. Robbers are going round every night raiding homesteads and shops in market centres. Before they used to break into houses but nowadays, they have levelled up to stealing livestock. Appeals to have security beefed up in this area have bore no fruits and no arrests have been made," he said.

John Rithaa, the Community Policing Chairman while commenting on the issue noted that theft cases had been reported to the police and local administration units but no action had been taken so far.

Japhet Mbiria, the Senior Manager for Mutuguni Sub-Unit said plans were in place to have Nyumba Kumi patrols and programmes restored as they try to handle the situation.

The administrators also asked the County Police Commander and Chuka Police Station OCS to speed up investigations and also look into the rising insecurity cases in the area, asking for more patrols.

Top in the list of suspects according to the locals and the administrators are hawkers and farm products buyers, visiting homes pretending to be buying or selling products to the locals.

According to them, the robbers disguised as businessmen are not from the locality but may be getting assistance from locals to carry out their heinous acts.

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