A 21-year-old Nairobi water vendor who stole a police officer’s backpack and was later detained by other cops on suspicion of having a stolen phone was granted clemency when the officer apologized.
On August 27, 2023, in Kamukunji, Nairobi, Mr. Ian Otieno was accused of stealing a cell phone worth Sh42,000, a handbag costing Sh2,000, and Sh600 from Police Constable Sadia Adan in violation of section 279(a) of the penal code.
Before Senior Principal Magistrate Mary Njagi of the Makadara Law Courts, the accused refuted the accusations. PC Adan filed a request to drop the accusation against the suspect, nonetheless, because all of the goods she misplaced were found by her coworkers.
But prosecution counsel Moraa Rongito opposed the application to have the matter dropped citing increased cases of theft and sought more time to review the police file and make a decision.
Following the discovery of the suspect in possession of PC Adan’s phone by Police Constables Richard Chelimo and Johnpaul Mutwiri on August 28, 2023, the suspect is also being prosecuted on an additional charge of handling stolen property in violation of Section 323 of the Penal Code.
At the time of his detention by the two officers, Mr. Otieno is charged with having a phone that was either stolen or obtained illegally.
Around noon on that day, PC Adan, a member of the Machakos Road Police Depot in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, hopped into a tuk-tuk near Burma Market, where Mr. Ian got in, grabbed her handbag, and took off.
She informed the Shauri Moyo Police Station about the incident.
The two police officers from Shauri Moyo Police Station were on patrol in Majengo the following day when they came across Mr. Otieno and a cell phone they thought he had stolen. They summoned him.
When they instructed him to turn on the phone after turning it off, he was unable to do so, which supported their belief that he had stolen it.
When they got at the police station, they called PC Adan, who arrived and positively identified the phone and the suspect as the ones who robbed her. The suspect was then apprehended and transported to the police station.
Until September 22, 2023, when the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) will make a judgement regarding the case, the accused will stay in custody at the Nairobi Area Remand and Allocation Prison in Industrial Area complainant’s application to withdraw the case.