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Nakuru Thugs Take Streets After Curfew

Less than an hour after residents of Canaan Village in Pipeline Estate of Nakuru Town had retreated to the safety of their homes and confined themselves indoors after the start of the 7pm dusk-to-dawn curfew on Monday, than a gang of thieves struck.
In the thick of the night when police patrols are expected to be heightened, the gang which residents claim consists of eight well-known criminals appeared to be in no hurry as they broke into dozens of shops, causing mayhem and making away with goods and money.
65-year-old Margaret Wambugu Kamau said the gangsters initially pretended to be law enforcement officers but around and ordered the locals to open doors to their houses and proceeded to unleash terror by attacking residents with blunt objects.
Those who defied the orders to open their premises had to contend with windows of their house being smashed and missiles lobbed into their homes forcing them to open their doors and suffer the wrath of the gang through ruthless beatings.
A resident, who only identified himself as Bernard for fear of reprisal, said many locals had been confronted by the machete-wielding gang that has also been attacking women and the elderly.
He said they suspect the members of the gang are their neighbours as they seem to know the area and residents quite well.
The locality is inhabited by families that were internally displaced and later allocated land in the area by the government following the 2007 and 2008 post-election violence.
Bernard said that with the knowledge that everyone is cooped up in their homes and a number of businesses that used to operate round the clock now closed, the robbers have no fear of anyone bearing witness to their activities.
“They are taking advantage of the absence of police patrols in crime hotspots. When police officers respond to an alarm by residents, it is usually too late. These well-known criminals are terrorising their own brothers, parents and neighbours in homes and breaking into business and other premises as the countrywide dusk-to-dawn curfew continues,” noted Bernard.
The locals have voiced concern that the criminals are now targeting elderly and widowed persons while carrying out criminal activities.
Area nyumba kumi officials told the press that they had already raised the matter with local administrators for action.
By Jane Ngugi and Dennis Rasto

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