A machete-wielding lone criminal abducted a woman and her daughter from Mwenda Andu Village in Nyandarua County in the wee hours of Sunday.
The attacker waylaid the woman's husband Nicholas Muiruri, a teacher at Magumu High School in Kinangop Constituency, as he walked home shortly after midnight.
Nyandarua Police Commander Gideon Ngumi said the criminal ordered Mr Muiruri to surrender as he entered his compound.
He then escorted him into the house, where he ordered his wife and daughter to lie on the ground before stealing Sh4,000.
The wife, Ms Susan Wanini, is a teacher at Heni Secondary School in Kinangop.
Ms Wanini said the assailant searched their house and then asked her to go outside with him and let him into the car, in the company of her daughter.
"I opened the car for him. After ransacking it, he ordered us to lead the way out of the gate," she said.
The woman and the girl, who suffered cuts in their hands during the ordeal, were found about three hours later and the criminal arrested.
Ms Wanini said her husband informed neighbours of what had happened, prompting a search.
Mr Muiruri said they found the attacker guided by a torch that he kept turning on and off.
"I raised the alarm to attract neighbours when it took long for them to return to the house. We mobilised a search and called police. We rescued them about two kilometers from home."
Ms Wanini said, "This is the most traumatising incident my daughter and I have ever gone through."
Residents claimed the attacker was a known criminal under the protection of a chief.
The police commander said investigations would ensure justice.