Picture yourself leaving work on a Friday evening, fatigued and looking forward to a deserved break from the hustle. You just want to get home take a shower and usher in the weekend in the warmth of your blankets or whatever else gets you well-rested.
You walk to the matatu stage, and just like you had hoped, here comes the vehicle that would drop you closest to your house.
The conductor is kind enough to usher you into the vehicle’s front passenger seat. You gladly hop in, sit next to a scruffy passenger you found sat on that uncomfortable middle seat and the conductor swifty signals the driver to speed on.
As you settle in, the conductor calls your attention to the unlocked door and tries to fix it for you but seems to be struggling with it for a moment as the driver nonchalantly steps on the accelerator.
The conductor then asks you to lend a hand in locking the door, and since you realise how dangerous this can be, you gladly stretch your arms out to help him wrestle the stubborn door.
As you struggle to lock the door, the person seated next to you tells you that they’ve noticed something of yours fall and actually when you check your phone or purse is actually missing.
The ‘kind’ driver gladly stops the vehicles and promises to wait for you as you pick your belongings with another passenger in the back seat hurriedly points to where your stuff fell.
Once you alight and rush to the darkness to look for your belongings the matatu speeds off before you resalise you were played for a fool by master con men.
For Elizabeth Njeri though the scenario played a little different, as she was struggling to lock the rusty stubborn door the passenger next to her took her handbag.
She only realised that he had it when she was almost alighting and wanted to pay for the ride he happily handed the bag back but before she could open it the driver offered to cater for her fare.
An excited Njeri alighted on the next stop and headed to the supermarket for some shopping, upon reaching the cashiers till she could not find her purse which had Ksh70,000 Huawei phone, Ksh12,000 cash, two ATM cards, two shopping smart cards and some accessories.
Another trick used is where they will willfully carry known pickpockets with whom they share the loot.
A victim who opted to have his identity withheld narrated how the conductor tricked him to losing Ksh12,000 cash that was meant for house rent.
The matatu he had boarded in Huruma, Nairobi made a stopover at Ngara area where three men boarded, with one sitting next to him, upon arrival at the fire station area along Tom Mboya street, the conductor shouted that he had seen traffic officers checking if passengers had fastened their seat belts.
On instinct, he started looking for his seat belt but before he could find it he heard the vehicle door open and the same conductor announce that the vehicle had arrived at its destination, the three men alighted swiftly.
Checking his pockets moments later, his money was gone.