Police in Laikipia have killed three suspected cattle rustlers whom they said were behind a spate of armed livestock theft in the region and recovered 24 heads of cattle.
Laikipia police County Commander Maxwel Nyaema speaking on Sunday, said that the trio were cornered in Ole naishu area as they were herding the animals towards Laikipia North after they had raided a homestead at Umande village in Laikipia East on Sunday at around 2.30 am and stolen the animals.
“We got information that this gang had raided the village and had driven away the livestock, we dispatched two groups of anti stock theft officers and eventually cornered them at Ole Naishu area,” Nyaema told reporters at his Nanyuki office.
The county commander added that the suspected rustlers resisted arrest and engaged the officers in a shootout that resulted to the three being killed and one officer injured.
” After the operation, three of the suspects were gunned down, unfortunately, one of our officers was slightly injured but at least we managed to stop them and recover the livestock,” Nyaema added.
Mr Nyaema further said that three AK 47 assault rifles, 62 bullets, two machetes and a mobile phone was recovered from the dead suspects after the operation adding that investigators would use mobile phone data from the phone to trace their accomplices.
“We are already zeroing in on cattle rustlers in Laikipia and this is a first break through, soon another major bust is coming,” he added.
Nyaema further added that his officers were in pursuit of local criminals believed to be holding illegal guns that were being used in livestock theft in the vast county.
He said the dead suspects were young men whose ages ranged from 22 to 26 years.
By Martin Munyi