This follows recent complaints by motorists that car thieves are employing new tactics including stoning vehicles especially on highways and lighting fires under flyovers in a bid to make motorists stop. “The thieves are usually positioned on top of the flyovers or where there is an underpass and they hurl stones at your car in a bid to get you to stop then mug you,” said Gifted Korir, a motorist.
Korir said he was a victim of such an incident as he was driving home along Mombasa Road at night. “I was driving home when a stone came from nowhere and hit my windscreen. I was almost stopping, but another stone was hurled towards my car so I sped off to save my dear life,” he said.
According to data relayed by the police, such cases are common in areas such as the Eastern bypass, Northern bypass, Thika Road, Waiyaki way, Jogoo Road and anywhere with an underpass. Hotspots Roundabouts in the city are other spots where motorists are targeted especially at night.
The muggers also light fires under the flyovers and when motorists slow down to avert the fire, the thieves jump out of their hiding place and pounce on the unsuspecting onlookers. At the roundabouts, the muggers block the road by laying huge stones on the road, making it impossible for motorists to navigate through.
They are usually on top of the flyovers or in the bushes in areas where the road is deserted. This is most common on Jogoo Road and at the city stadium roundabout, where the police are tasked with removing the stones almost every other morning.
Alternatively, the muggers place sharp nails on the road, which burst tyres and once a motorist stops, he or she is mugged, sometimes at gunpoint. The muggers are also said to operate in groups and rob pedestrians of their valuables.
James Mwangi said that he was recently attacked by a gang of more than 10 men who, in two groups, waylaid him outside his workplace along Kenyatta Avenue.
Reluctant police “How safe is Nairobi’s CBD if a gang of about 10 men can attack me with crude weapons, steal from me Sh5,000 and my ATM cards and other valuables,” he asked.
Mwangi said he reported the issue at Central Police Station but they were reluctant to take action. “They seemed used to such reports. I was left stranded with a bloody shirt and injured lip,” he added.
Nairobi Police Boss Japheth Koome said most of the victims of such incidents did not report to the police, making it hard for them to make arrests.
Instead, he said, they post the same on social media. “Where incidents have been reported, we have deployed personnel and the police carry out patrols to prevent such cases from happening,” said Mr Koome.