Thieves Exploit Anti-Government Protests to Loot Phones and Laptops Worth Ksh 1.5M from Nairobi Shop

A screen grab of CCTV footage showing the looting.

As tensions over the Finance Bill 2024 continue to shock Nairobi, the aftermath of Thursday’s protests has revealed a disturbing turn: acts of targeted vandalism and looting.

Among the hardest hit was a mobile phone and electronics shop located at the bustling junction of Tom Mboya and Ronald Ngala streets in the city centre.

CCTV footage obtained by NTV from the scene depicts a group of assailants methodically breaking through the shop’s bulletproof windows, under the cover of escalating clashes between protesters and police.

The footage, captured from a store, shows a group of individuals using stones and heavy metals to break the shop’s windows.

The footage shows the vandals meticulously targeting the store’s windows, and it took them only 10-15 minutes to gain access to the store.

Then masked individuals are seen trooping into the store and hauling valuable electronics into the night.

The owner, James Kimani, estimated the losses at a staggering Ksh1.5 million, consisting of high-value electronics including mobile phones, laptops, and various accessories.

A screen grab of one of the alleged looters in action.

"We could actually see the guys hitting the window with stones, through and through. And after 10-15 minutes they managed to get in and pick the items on display like phones and TVs," Kimani recounted, describing the harrowing moments captured on camera.

The incident occurred at approximately 6:40 PM, as protesters clashed with police in running battles throughout the capital.

Protesters, venting their anger over perceived economic injustices, clashed intermittently with law enforcement throughout the day, turning parts of the capital into battlegrounds.

While the identities of the perpetrators remain unclear, the timing and context of the break-in point towards a nexus with the ongoing protests.

Business owners across Nairobi are now grappling with heightened anxieties as they assess the fallout from Thursday’s events.

The violence and disruptions prompted many businesses to close early, with those remaining open navigating the uncertain landscape cautiously.

A snapshot of the city streets on Thursday evening revealed a significant number of shuttered shops, reflecting a community on edge amidst the volatility.

With tensions set to escalate further, organisers of the protests have issued calls for continued demonstrations in the coming days, framing the unrest as a 'week of rage'.

The looming spectre of further protests on Tuesday and Wednesday threatens to exacerbate an already tense situation, leaving both residents and businesses bracing for potential upheaval.

Police officers on horses during Finance Bill protests in Nairobi.
Police officers on horses during Finance Bill protests in Nairobi.
Uzalendo News
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