Armed men raid bank, disarm officers and violently rob customers
Armed men yesterday morning raided a bank in Matuu town and disarmed two officers of their firearms before robbing other customers of their cash at gun-point.
Matuu Equity Bank branch Michael Muriithi said the five men raided the bank at around 9.10am after they disarmed Constables Patrick Omusebe and Dorothy Opili of their AK47 rifles, both loaded with 60 rounds of ammunition.
The gang then entered the bank and stole an unknown amount of cash from the teller and also robbed customers including Lawrence Ngugi Sh200,000, Rosina Syombua was robbed of Sh51,000, Rhoda Mbithe Sh3,500, James Mulaka Mutuku Sh11,000 Mary Kumama Sh4,500 among other customers.
The scene was visited by the Yatta Sub-County Police Commander Issa Muhamud and his Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) counterpart, among other senior officers who interrogated some staff and analysed the scene.
Opili reported that she suffered minor injuries on her hip joint and left hand while Omusebe sustained bruises on both hands, following the attack. Muhamud said the robbers first posed as customers before they struck.
“A CCTV footage captured the men, one in a black suit, forcefully pushing the male officer into a room as the already disarmed female colleague runs around helplessly.
“The officers were disarmed of AK47 rifles, serial numbers 5527115 and 5526385 respectively, with a total of 60 rounds of ammunition,” a report to police headquarters read.
The commander said a joint team of officers yesterday launched a manhunt for the gang.
Concerns have been raised on the alertness of officers assigned such sensitive duties, and the general response in case of emergencies. A number of officers have in the past been attacked while on duty and their firearms stolen.
Security expert George Musamali yesterday told People Daily that officers assigned such duties are expected to be always alert and aware of their surroundings.
“Banks, just like any other cash handling businesses, are generally required to provide adequate security at their facilities to reduce chances of robberies,” he said.
“Unfortunately, in some cases police officers have been shot dead and their firearms stolen while on such guard duties. This is partly attributed to negligence,” he added.
Last year, police headquarters issued a stern warning after a photo of an Administration Police female officer was circulated in the social media, showing the lady busy on her cell phone while guarding a branch of Cooperative Bank.
In another attack, robbers raided Supreme Equity Bank at Poa Place in Eldoret and disarmed police officers.
In January last year, unknown people attacked another police officer and stole his firearm in Murang’a. Constable Morris Mwiti was attacked at Kabuta, along the Murang’a-Sagana road.