Nairobi police seize over 300 gadgets in crackdown on stolen electronics

In an ongoing crackdown on suspicious phone repair stalls, detectives across the Nairobi Region have seized more than 300 suspected stolen mobile phones, laptops, and tablets.

This effort is aimed at combating the electronic theft surge in the city.

Police have stated that the theft of these gadgets is linked to motorcycle operators who are behind the trend.

Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei announced that they will also target motorcycle operators as part of efforts to address this trend.

He mentioned that dozens of operators have already been arrested in the operation and warned that the exercise will continue.

Bungei said there has seen a surge in incidents where riders with pills are also accomplices snatching mobile phones and taking them to electronic engineers for changes before they are sold.

The police boss said they have realized some of the suspects are ex-convicts who were recently released from prison.

He warned they have profiled them and that efforts to get the gangs are ongoing.

“Let those handling the gadgets know some of them were robbed in serious circumstances including robbery with violence and some even murder,” he said.

Bungei warned secondhand mobile phone dealers and the electronic engineers or repairers handling the gadgets they will face serious when charges investigations are completed.

“If you are a mobile phone engineer or repairer stop handling stolen gadgets. You become an accomplice in the crime when found,” he said.

He said detectives are now pursuing good leads on the issue and they aim to address the menace.

Tens of mobile phone users are usually robbed on the roads by thieves who take the gadgets for repairs before they are sold to unsuspecting buyers.

Bungei encouraged those whose gadgets were stolen to always report the same to the police.

In the operation conducted on March 4, 2024, over 182 mobile phones, a laptop, an iPad and two heating machines were seized in Ruai and Kamulu areas.

In the operation, five suspects were arrested.

In Kamukunji, detectives confiscated 29 suspected stolen mobile phones.

In Lang’ata, two suspects were arrested with 34 suspected stolen phones, and eight laptops seized at a shop by DCI Central detectives.

Four other suspects were arrested in Kasarani’s Githurai 44 area in a similar operation.

Meanwhile, five robberies with violence suspects who waylaid a Matopeni area resident at Mukuru kwa Njenga – Rally section stole from him a jacket and an OPPO phone valued at Sh20,000 were arrested by Embakasi police, recovering the jacket and escorting them to custody.

The suspects were ambushed minutes after the robbery, and have since been arrested.

The DCI Nairobi Region Coordinator Njeru Nthiga warned mobile phone thieves operating in the guise of phone dealers and phone repair shop owners that detectives are hot on their trail, equally cautioning genuine operators to be careful while handling second-hand electronics as they may put them in serious problems with the law.