City police recover 169 stolen phones, 36 laptops in two days
Oct. 15, 2020
Police in Nairobi have recovered more than 200 assorted electronic devices including mobile phones, cameras and laptops during a sting operation to curb street muggings.
Nairobi regional police Commander Rashid Yakub said 169 stolen phones were recovered during an operation targeting individuals believed to have bought them from muggers.
Other items recovered include 15 professional video and still cameras and 36 laptops.
The gadgets were recovered by a crack team during operations coordinated by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations operations’ chief inspector John Njoroge in the CBD and elsewhere.
“We have arrested 45 suspects (found with the devices) who have been charged in the last 65 hours and we are awaiting the outcome from the courts,” Mr. Yakub said.
The suspects have been charged with handling suspected stolen property, with 15 of them arrested in connection with the stolen laptops and nine for handling the cameras.
Mr. Yakub appealed to members of the public who have lost their items to visit the Nairobi regional police headquarters along Kilimani road with documents to prove ownership.
The police boss said some of the items were stolen by criminals who break into vehicles at different car parks before they are sold to underworld dealers.
An officer, who cannot be named because he is not authorised to speak to the press, revealed that the muggings mainly happen in the CBD, Kayole, Buruburu and Kabete before the items are sold in downtown Nairobi mainly along Luthuli Avenue and Mfangano Street.
The police source said the dealers purporting to be electronic technicians buy them with the intent to flash and sell them to unsuspecting buyers.
“When we arrest them, they claim the gadgets were brought to them for repair but when we ask them to identify any of the owners, they don’t even have the owners’ contacts,” he said.
“We are telling them; if they are repairing the phones, they must record the owners’ phone and ID numbers and issue them with receipts so that they can prove they are in genuine business.
“We want to deal with the dealers who receive them from muggers and the muggers will stop because they will have nowhere to take them.”