A farmer in Athi River, Machakos County, is counting heavy losses after his herd of 15 prized bulls were driven away from his home on Monday night.
Three of the bulls were later traced to a nearby bush, where they were found with their legs slashed. The rest of the herd is suspected to have been ferried using a lorry to an unknown destination.
Herdboy Tumokinoi Mutuku said a gang of armed assailants struck before dawn.
"The gang ensured we could not leave our adjacent houses to the cowshed. It was a well-planned theft that took no time. We were afraid the assailants could attack us," he said.
The livestock owner, Benedict Muimi, faulted the security apparatus for laxity, especially given that the dusk-to-dawn curfew is in force.
He said livestock theft is rampant in Athi River, claiming that in the past three months he has lost more than 50 cows in similar incidents.
"Let the security apparatus know they are to blame for the spate of theft being witnessed during curfew time in this region," he said.
"How thieves managed to steal and transport livestock using a lorry 200 metres from the Mombasa Road police roadblock raises eyebrows."
Residents have cried foul over recent rampant cattle theft cases in the area. They say that since the curfew was imposed, unknown assailants have taken advantage of it to steal day and night.
Residents suspect the raiders could be working in cahoots with rogue security officers to facilitate the theft.
Athi River sub-county police Commander Catherine Ringera said the incident was being investigated and urged the public to volunteer information to expedite investigations.