The officers acting on a tip-off from members of the public raided the garage within the Kitengela Juakali area, arresting two suspects. The garage is said to have been operating during odd hours and has no open-door policy of entry.
The garage owner was found changing some parts of two Toyota Axio vehicles before giving information that led to the arrest of another suspect who had brought the vehicle to the garage. Detectives arrested the other suspect along Mombasa Road while driving a brand new Toyota Probox which had no number plate.
Tens of number plates were recovered from his car. Some unmarked number plates and a gadget used to detect cutouts and car trackers were also recovered.
Kitengela DCIO Benson Mutie said the recovery of the suspected stolen vehicles and the arrest of the two suspects is a major breakthrough in cracking down car theft cartels.
He says the cartel mainly operates within Nairobi and Kitengela terrorizing car owners.
Mutie says the criminals have changed tactics of operation and instead of dismantling the stolen vehicles to sell spare parts, they change registration numbers to avert any tracing.
He says the criminals use self-made number plates that are not even recognized by the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA).
Some of the recovered number plates are registered to vehicles that are operating.
"We received information from members of the public that the garage operates in a very cavalier manner. Unlike other garages within the zone, the garage operates in the wee hours of the night and the movement of clients is restricted. In most cases, clients are turned away with the garage owner claiming to be busy," Mutie said.
"We raided the garage and found a suspect doing a dubious operation. He was replacing the windscreens of the two vehicles with locally made ones and had an electric gadget with UV light. He was operating alone before revealing his intention of changing the identity of the vehicles as per his client's specifications. The suspect facilitated the arrest of the other suspect said to be the owner of the vehicle. From all preliminary investigations, the two are among a gang involved in a car theft syndicate.''
He says the duplication of number plates is a big threat to genuine motor vehicle owners who least know that there are other stolen vehicles which have similar number plates.
Mutie further says DCI officers are also working on leads from the preliminary interrogation of the two suspects to arrest more suspects of the notorious syndicate.
The two who are being held at Kitengela police station will be arraigned at Kajiado Law Court on Monday where detectives will request more days to detain them for further investigations.
The three vehicles have been towed to Kitengela police station.