Numerous arrests, arraignments and dozens of warrants of arrests issued against Lavender Akinyi for absconding court and jumping bail, among other things, have not deterred her.
Akinyi, the woman once described by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti as the mastermind of most break-ins in Nairobi city, has conducted very risky house break-ins not only in the city and its environs but also in other counties.
She has more than 20 case files in various police stations and has on several occasions been denied bond on grounds that she is a habitual offender.
The starter kit — for the gang she commands — contains master keys, masking tapes, crowbars, fake number plates, a vehicle, among others.
“The masking tapes are used to change the vehicle number plates to avoid detection by police or their victims,” a senior detective told People Daily.
“Ironically, despite the increasing risks of arrest and conviction, the gang has continued committing crimes, especially break-ins, within the city with impunity,” he added.
On Sunday night, Akinyi was for the umpteenth time arrested together with three others identified as Susan Wangui Kariuki, Alex Mbugua and Stephen Apundo after they broke into Kiran Patel’s house in Spring Valley and stole cash, jewellery and assorted household items at Peponi View apartments in Westlands.
Patel said he had securely locked his door and left with his wife at around 12 noon, only to come back in the evening to find the door open, the house ransacked and several electronic gadgets missing.
They informed the police but while still at the scene, the officers were alerted that some people had been arrested within Kyuna by undercover officers.
They were found in possession of the items stolen from Patel’s house including foreign currencies and computers, assorted master keys, crowbars, spanners, and pliers.
The suspects were driving in a Nissan registration number KCV 426K. They also had extra registration number plates KCR 908C and KDA 941X.
Detectives interrogated the two security guards who were on duty.
“The gang usually changes the number plates after committing crimes. Investigations have been launched to establish if they are linked to other house break-ins reported within the city,” police said.
Akinyi had earlier been arrested together with five other suspects following a violent robbery incident in Kitengela.
During the arrest, police recovered a Toyota Prado and Nissan Navara master keys, fake number plates, masking tapes and a safe, according to the DCI.
The gang, the police say, had several cases of robbery with violence, burglary and stealing, pending before different courts especially in Nairobi and Kajiado.
They have been captured on different CCTV footage at scenes of crime and sometimes in the company of foreigners. The gang targets mostly residential houses.