Jimmy, a serial criminal who instilled fear among the residents of Kariobangi, received a warning from the area police boss, instructing his gang to flee town.
However, he and his crew ignored the warning, a decision that would later prove fatal.
During an interview with an online blog, he narrated the incident, pointing out how the defiance led to the death of his crew in an operation they hoped would be their big break.
Born and bred in Kariobangi, Jimmy explained that he joined the gang after dropping out of primary school. He was intrigued by his friends’ distinctive attire and how well they were doing in terms of making ends meet.
The gang then introduced him to their operations, which involved carrying out heists in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD), targeting shops and matatus.
Police officers walking along Kenyatta Avenue in June 2022.
His first operation involved the hijacking of a garage and the theft of spare parts, an endeavor that required weeks of meticulous planning and coordination. Jimmy’s role was that of a lookout thug, responsible for receiving the stolen parts and placing them in the getaway vehicle.
“We carried out the operation successfully. At first, I was very scared, thinking that someone had seen us. I prayed to God the entire time, hoping that the operation would go as planned,” he stated, revealing that he received Ksh3,000 from the operation.
Their next operation involved a matatu at the Kariobangi stage, where they successfully robbed a 33-seater with the assistance of the conductor and the driver.
“That day, when the matatu approached the highway, we brandished our weapons and ordered everyone to hand over their valuables. The driver and conductor also surrendered their phones as part of the scheme,” he indicated.
“After that, the matatu dropped us off at a petrol station, and we scattered. From a 33-seater matatu, we stole chains, rings, phones, laptops, iPads, and various other items. We stored them in a hideout and met our dealer. Through these operations, I unexpectedly earned Ksh70,000.”
Jimmy’s gang conducted multiple operations, drawing the attention of the area police boss. According to the reformed robber, the officer and his crew traced them and provided a final opportunity to return to their rural areas and refrain from the behaviour. The officer handed each member cash for their fare and warned that defiance would be met with lethal force.
“I knew this was a warning because the officer had a reputation of not sparing criminals once he’s given the order,” Jimmy stated while pointing out that the remarks signalled a turf war between his gang and the police.
Despite the officer’s warning, they proceeded with their criminal activities, targeting an electronics shop in Donholm, Nairobi, in a successful operation.
This time, Jimmy reaped Ksh200,000, which he used to provide for his family and himself.
With the officer’s words echoing in their minds, they decided to do one final operation before quitting. The operation aimed to rob two shops, one dealing in electronics and the other in clothing.
A police station in Kenya in a photo dated 2021
They rented a Toyota Hilux as their getaway car, departing from their usual Vitz. However, Jimmy made a costly mistake when he neglected to disable the alarms while picking the locks.
“The moment I tampered with the locks, the alarm sounded but we failed to notice. The alarm alerted the owner who contacted the police. As we were busy loading the electronics, we were surprised to see police cars outside the shop. We wondered who had tipped off the cops,” he explained.
“They opened fire on us. I witnessed my friend falling to the ground after being hit multiple times. I began praying to God, pleading not to let me die that night. I promised to abandon a life of crime if I survived.”
According to Jimmy, the officers sprayed bullets at his gang, killing his friends instantly, including their getaway driver.
During the crossfire, the officers entered the shop seeking to eliminate any survivors. To that end, the officers entered the shop to eliminate any survivors. Jimmy managed to escape through a backdoor and hid behind the Hilux.
“After some time, the cops combed the place and I managed to escape. I went home, crying and told my mother everything, in terms of my life in crime. She was surprised that all the valuables I had gifted her were from crime.”
The following day, Jimmy narrated, that he returned to his rural home and began attending a local church. Through the church’s support, he received a scholarship and resumed his education, rejoining Class Four.
He noted that his experiences shaped his subsequent decisions in life.