In a significant operation conducted by local law enforcement in Kitengela, a district of Kajiado County, two men were apprehended on Friday, believed to be instrumental in a widespread automobile theft ring plaguing the town. This operation led to the recovery of three stolen vehicles, according to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Law enforcement officials were tipped off about suspicious activities at a secluded garage nestled among several others within the Jua Kali grounds, situated in close proximity to the Kitengela Police Station. Armed with this information, plainclothes detectives conducted a raid on Thursday night.
The proprietor of the garage, David Ochieng, and the alleged ringleader of the theft operation, Julius Osoro, were apprehended during the raid. Inside the garage, officials discovered two recently stolen Toyota Axios vehicles, bearing the registrations KDL 773T and KDK 792R, in the process of being modified.
Benson Mutie, the head of the Kitengela DCI, disclosed that Ochieng’s information led to the capture of the main suspect, Osoro, who was intercepted on Mombasa Road driving the third stolen vehicle, a Toyota Probox with registration KDD 363L.
In addition to the vehicles, various detached number plates and a device designed to disable all security features in a vehicle were also recovered from the site.
Mutie revealed that the vehicles were believed to have been stolen from disparate parts of the country, then brought to the garage for modification. Once their security features were disabled and bodies repainted, the vehicles were then sold off to unwitting customers.
“Investigators are following significant leads in an effort to apprehend additional suspects, as part of the ongoing investigation into the auto theft ring operating within the Nairobi metropolitan area,” Mutie said. He added that several individuals are now under police scrutiny, with hopes of dismantling what appears to have been a longstanding operation.
All three recovered vehicles were transported to the Kitengela Police Station, where one was identified by its rightful owner who had previously reported it stolen.
The apprehended suspects are expected to face court proceedings next week.