Kenya: Police in Meru Pursue Ex-Convicts After Deadly Robberies

Police in Meru town are pursuing at least four suspects blamed for the fatal shooting of two people and a number of robberies within the municipality in the last two weeks.

Witnesses who have encountered the ruthless gang, which comprises four men --all of them alleged to be ex-convicts and sometimes incorporates a young woman-- said they carry a gun resembling an AK 47 assault rifle.

They are accused of shooting Mr Eugene Kiogora, 50, in the stomach at his wines and spirits shop at Gitimbine shopping centre and stole his phone and Sh90,000 in cash.

The four gunmen, who had posed as customers, then took off after the June 15 incident.

On the same night, they robbed a petrol station at Kiirua market and injured the owner.

During the robbery, the gang used a white Toyota Probox with a number plate KCU 464K, which police believe is usually altered to KCU 462X.

Mr Kiogora later succumbed to the injuries and was buried on Monday at Magundu village, within the municipality.

The gang first struck on June 1 where they robbed Sh180,000 from an M-Pesa shop at Makutano and shot a watchman in the waist, with the AK 47 assault rifle becoming their calling card.

Closing in on the gang

Last week, they also shot and killed a boda boda rider at Gachanka area and took away his new motorcycle.

All this time, the gang has always been a step ahead of the security apparatus, leaving the residents, especially the businessmen reeling in fear.

On Wednesday, Imenti North deputy county commissioner Florence Abunga said they were closing in on the gang.

She added that patrols, both on foot and by vehicles, had been enhanced within Meru town, Gitimbine and Gakoromone where crime thrives.

The administrator announced that they had arrested dozens of known pickpockets and petty offenders but as of now, the cases have stalled since people are not coming out to give evidence.

"We urged members of the public to come out and record statements but none has come forward. I am urging members of the public to share information so that we are more effective in terms of policing," appealed Ms Abunga.

She said the gang had also stolen coffee from various factories.

Imenti North police boss Laban Omol has formed a task force to crack down on gangs perpetrating muggings, pickpocketing and vandalism in parts of the Meru municipality.

The town, which is the largest economic hub in the Upper Eastern region, has recorded numerous changes in security personnel, registering three county police commanders and a similar number of deputy county commissioners in a year.

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