Police gun down ruthless Eldoret gang
Zadock Angira and Wycliff Kipsang
Three suspects believed to be part of an AK47 rifle-wielding gang behind a series of robberies in Eldoret town and its environs were on Sunday night shot dead and a rifle loaded with 23 rounds of ammunition recovered.
Preliminary investigations reveal that one of the slain suspects, Benjamin Kiptanui Chumba, alias Lang’at, was released from a Kisumu prison on July 30, 2020 after serving a 14-year sentence.
In the last four weeks, the gang is believed to have committed several robberies. Detectives have linked the March 15 murder of Peter Kamau Njeri, the owner of Blessed Selection Supermarket, to the gang.
Uasin Gishu county police commander Ayub Gitonga said detectives were tracking down the remaining members of the gang that has terrorised locals, especially business owners.
Most members of the gang, which calls itself the “Eight Brothers” are ex-convicts. Two of them armed with an AK47 rifle would conduct the raid while the others were on standby to facilitate escape.
In about five cases reported within one month, they struck around 7.30pm and in most cases would pose as customers.
Most of these robberies were reported in Turbo and Ainabkoi sub-counties in Uasin Gishu County.
“With the same modus operandi, our officers quickly linked these robberies to this particular AK47 rifle-wielding gang.
In one of the cases, they were clearly captured on CCTV,” a senior detective told People Daily.
In all the cases where they fired at the scene, all the spent cartridges were recovered and were confirmed to be those of an AK47 rifle.
On April 8, the gang went to Seyot Hardware posing as customers but later brandished an AK47 rifle before forcing the owner, Mathew Rono, to give them money.
They found Sh10,000 in the cash box which they stole. On leaving, they shot once in the air to scare away people before they got into a getaway car. Detectives recovered a spent cartridge of an AK47 rifle at the scene.
CCTV captured the gang members ransacking shelves and one of them cocking an AK47 rifle.
On Saturday around 7.30pm, the gang raided Smart Selection in Munyaka estate where they shot in the air once and ordered everyone to lie down.
They robbed Jane Mwangi of Sh50,000 and two M-Pesa mobile phones. While leaving, they also shot in the air to scare away members of the public who had gathered round the building.
“The scene was visited by officers from Kapsoya Police Station who recovered two spent cartridges of calibre 7.62mm,” police said.
In the Blessed Selection supermarket owner murder incident, Mary Mwihaki Njoki, an employee, told the police that two men entered the supermarket at around 9.30pm posing as customers.
They then forced Kamau, the owner, at gunpoint to give them cash and valuables.
“They then ransacked the supermarket, taking away an unknown amount of money and thereafter shot Kamau in the neck, killing him on the spot,” police said.
The gunmen then disappeared into the darkness. Detectives later recovered a spent cartridge of an AK47 rifle.
On Sunday night at around 7.30pm, three members of the gang were shot dead in Eldoret town and an AK47 rifle recovered.
“Following a series of robbery with violence incidents within Uasin Gishu county and its environs where some suspects were captured on CCTV footage, today through actionable intelligence gathering, the DCI officers and County’s undercover officers acting on crucial leads, managed to spot the five suspects within Eldoret town outside Transmatt Supermarket Ltd,” police report said.
Police said an exchange ensued and three of the five men were shot dead.
“An AK47 rifle with an obliterated serial number and loaded with 23 rounds of ammunition was recovered during the incident,” police said.
Some of the documents recovered by police indicate that upon release from prison the head of Kisumu Maximum Prison described Chumba, alias Lang’at as a disciplined man while serving his sentence and even asked any well-wisher to accord him the necessary assistance.
Two other slain suspects have been identified as Moha and Mwaura who also have previous convictions.
Another gang member, only known as Philip, was arrested following a robbery attempt in Kondele, Kisumu where a pistol was recovered.
According to the detectives, Moha escaped from Kayole after his accomplice was shot dead. At Kayole, he was one of the leaders of the Gaza gang.
- Most members of the gang, which calls itself the “Eight Brothers” are ex-convicts.
- Detectives noted that the robberies shared distinctive features. The modus operandi was the same.
- In about five cases reported in one month, they struck around 7.30pm and in most cases would pose as customers.
Original Source Website: : https://www.pd.co.ke/news/end-of-road-for-ruthless-eldoret-gang-71758/