Criminals abandon escape cars for quick boda bodas

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 00:00 |
Suspected thieves have abandoned cars for easy to manouvre motorcycles. Photo/PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

Always seeking to be ahead of crime busters, criminals are fast switching to use of motorbikes as their primary mode of transport, especially when escaping from crime scenes.

This is a departure from the previous get-away cars with police reporting several incidents where armed robbers have escaped from crime scenes using motorbikes in the recent past.

In the last two weeks alone, over 100 robbery cases involving such gangs on motorcycles have been reported to the police across the country.

Latest reports indicate that even police officers have become victims of such gangs.

On Monday at around 2.45pm, six robbers escaped from a scene using a motorbike after robbing a bank staff of Sh3.5 million and two firearms belonging to officers manning the bank located on Mombasa road, Nairobi.

Seven hours later, two men, also riding on a motorbike, dumped the firearms within the compound of Kiambu Level  Five Hospital. 

Traditionally, the standard method to escape from a crime scene was for the criminals merely to run away.

This has, however, changed. Vehicles, commonly referred to as getaway cars, are also used to flee from these scenes and are in most cases later abandoned. 

Pundits interviwed by People Daily opine that in built up areas, criminals risk being stuck in traffic jams, thus the allure for gangs to use motorcycles –the fast, mobile and almost untraceable means of escape.

“Most robbers on motorcycles purpose to target particular victims. However, some are opportunistic, especially in cases where they roam looking for potential victims,”  said an expert. 

In case of arrests, detectives seek to increase the accuracy of identification by conducting identification parades.

This eyewitness identification helps identify perpetrators, especially in crimes committed in contact manner with the victim. 

A research by the National Crime Research Centre in May last year, titled Boda Boda Motorcycle Transport and Security Challenges in Kenya, revealed the sector was inadequately regulated, giving incentives for risk taking, recklessness and impunity among operators.

The research  established a strong connection between boda boda operators, weak regulation and the siege mentality to increased cases of robberies; causing death by dangerous riding; breach of public order; committing murder; kidnapping and abduction; possession and usage of dangerous drugs; rape and defilement; smuggling of illegal firearms and contrabands in Kenya.

During the Prime Bank raid, six robbers also disarmed two officers attached to the Administration Police’s Critical Infrastructure Police Unit Langata who were guarding the bank.

Bank guards

Embakasi Sub-County police boss said the robbers entered Ramtons shop premises near City Cabanas/Kyangombe exchange at around 2.45pm.

They then confronted Corporal Mohammed Hassan and Corporal Eunice Syengo, who were guarding the bank before disarming them of the Scorpion with a total of 30 rounds of ammunition.

In another robbery incident in Parklands where a police officer attached to Ruiru police station was arrested with his accomplice for the theft of Sh15 million, the robbers also used a motorcycle.

According to CCTV footage, the rogue police officer and his accomplice were captured entering the building’s main gate at 1.16pm in a motorcycle ridden by a man wearing a helmet and a reflector jacket.

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