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MATUU brazen bank raid that raises questions on police preparedness

Five armed gangsters broke into Equity Bank in Matuu town and made away with guns from police officers manning the financial institution yesterday at 9.10am.

 Matuu Equity Bank after it was raided Tuesday July 27. Photo/COURTESY

The robbers are believed to have taken positions near the bank surveying the area before they attacked two police officers. They had earlier posed as customers.

The first police officer to be attacked was a female one. Then the gang pounced inside the banking hall where they confronted the male police officer, Mr Patrick Omusebe. Constable Omusebe put a spirited fight with the gang as he struggled to keep his gun they were after. The weapon was snatched from him.

All this time, customers inside the bank were fearing for their lives and they ran away for safety. An eye witness said that the gang kicked the male police officer on his groin area before taking the weapon from him. The gun was loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.

According to a pole OB (reference number 15/27/07/2021) report at Matuu Police Station, Mr Omusebe was injured on his hands and was complaining of pain in his private parts. The report was obtained from Equity Bank Matuu branch Manager Michael Muriithi Gachanja.

The female police officer attacked by the robbers was Ms Dorothy Opili who sustained injuries on her hips and bruises on her left hand.

In a show of force, the robbers went on to demand everyone to lie down including parents and students who were paying school fees in readiness for a new term. The gang snatched bundles of money of unknown amount from the customers and one of the tellers.

All this took 10 minutes after which the robbers ran on foot as police chased them in a harsh exchange of gunfire that went on for a quarter an hour.

Matuu police commander Mary Njoki said that police shot one of the gang members but he managed to flee.

On foot

A police report said “OCS Matuu is in hot pursuit. The robbers are on foot, they may use motorbikes to escape from our areas. Cascade the same to all officers on the ground”.

Despite the complaints from police about loss of money and injuries, Equity Bank tweeted that no one was injured in the scuffle. The bank vaults were not accessed.

The gang struck at 9.10am after disarming the two police officers who were each carrying AK47 rifles with a total of 60 rounds of ammunition. According to police report, the first rifle had 5527115 as its serial number while the other had 5526385 as its serial number.

Some of the customers who lost their money to the gang were Mr Lawrence Ngugi who parted with Sh200,000, Ms Rosina Syombua who was robbed Sh51,000, Rhoda Mbithe, 3500 shilling. James Mulaka Mutuku lost Sh11000 while Mary Mumama Sh4500. Other customers too reported being robbed by the gang.

Yatta Sub County Police Commander Issa Muhamud led the Directorate of Criminal Investigations team to visit the crime scene where they interrogated some workers and processed the scene.


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