Police officers in Rongai are cracking down on criminal groups expanding their involvement in the theft of livestock in the country.
The criminals, armed with crude weapons and guns, target herding sheep and goats that are then transported in personal vehicles.
Over the weekend, police officers laid a trap along Nakuru-Kabarak road and impounded a Mazda saloon car, transporting sheep.
Rongai deputy sub-county police commander Sarah Chumo said that the suspects were transporting nine sheep to unknown locality, but abandoned the vehicle along the stretch after spotting the officers.
“Police, who were conducting a normal patrol, came across a vehicle that was later abandoned along the highway. We recovered sheep inside the vehicle,” said Ms Chumo.
The police towed the vehicle to Menengai police station as they pursued the suspects who are still at large.
“Investigations to arrest the syndicate behind stealing and transportation of livestock in the area has begun, and if we fail to get those who were transporting the sheep, we shall flush out the owner of the vehicle to give us more leads,” said the senior police officer.
She also assured the locals that crackdown on criminals shall continue and that anyone with information about the syndicate should inform relevant authority for action.
“Roadblocks have been erected in different localities to arrest the syndicate indulging in the crime,” said Chumo.
The locals in parts of Mang’u, Lusaka, Rafikis, Kayanet and Chergei have in the past accused police officers of having a hand in the crime.
According to irate locals, the crime of livestock stealing has been on the rise in the past month, an issue that has continued to affect the economy of farmers.
The residents claimed gangsters used Toyota Probox with two different number plates to raid homes and business premises stealing valuables.
Kayanet village elder Isaac Buret said at least 200 sheep and goats have been stolen in the area over the past month, with none being recovered.