Singing Robbers and 5 Other Daring Heists in Kenya

  • A police officer pictured at a crime scene.
    A police officer pictured at a crime scene.
  • Kenya has witnessed robberies that border on the truly bizarre over the years. On August 17, 1999, a group of armed gunmen walked into bank located along Kenyatta Avenue and made away with Ksh9 million - a time when the US Dollar was equivalent to just Ksh18.44.

    However, there was more to it. According to hostage statements, the robbers relieved them of their valuables while belting out a popular gospel song.

    Toa ndugu, toa dada ulichonacho wewe, umtolee bwana Mungu wako (verbatim translating to 'Give brother, give sister, whatever you have, give your offering to God'), as they frisked bank customers who walked in unaware of the heist.

    Interestingly, just a month earlier, a group of masked individuals had walked into the same banking hall and made away with Ksh500,000 and other valuables while belting out the same song.

    An armed robber captured on CCTV.
    An armed robber captured on CCTV.

    Thika Bank Heist

    In December 2017, the entire country watched as two brothers and a close associate were arraigned in court in connection to one of the most daring bank robberies in Kenyan history.

    Police reports revealed that the suspects had rented out commercial space next to the bank using fake names.

    They had dug a 30-metre-long tunnel that led to inside the bank’s strongroom. They are believed to have made away with at least Ksh52 million.


    The infamous Thika bank heist robbers may have borrowed a leaf from a daring robber in Kayole a year earlier.

    According to police reports, the loner set up at an apartment that shared a wall with a local bank.

    He then drilled his way through and walked right into the safe room where he is said to have stolen Ksh27 million before going underground.

    The police questioned several staff members as they theorised the possibility of an inside job.

    Ghost cameras in Karatina

    In April 2019, a gang of five robbers walked into a bank in  Karatina, Nyeri county and stole Ksh873,280. 

    Interestingly, the banks CCTV cameras somehow failed to capture anything. 

    The police were further puzzled as investigations showed that surveillance equipment in the bank was not disabled during the entire incident. 

    21 workers were still in the office when the criminals, armed with automatic rifles and machetes, accessed the banking hall.

    Othaya Ksh30 Million Heist

    In October 2015, three men posing as auditors knocked into the back entry area of a local bank, produced fake IDs and gained access into the restricted area.

    Armed with just a kitchen knife which they used to coerce the branch's deputy manager to unlock the cash vault, they reportedly stole Ksh30 million.

    Witnesses later revealed that the three well-dressed men had presented themselves as auditors sent from the bank's headquarters in Nairobi to carry out an inspection of the books.

    Nairobi West Heist

    In September 2019, six G4S employees were arraigned in court over links to the stolen Ksh72 million at an ATM in Nairobi West.

    The criminals allegedly robbed the G4S personnel of the cash intended for the ATM without firing a single round. When they arrived at the ATM, the G4S team called the headquarters for the password to reload cash into the machine.

    It was then that the gangsters pounced, confiscated their phones before loading the cash into their getaway car and sped off.

    A suspect in the Sh72 million heist.
    A suspect in the Sh72 million heist.
    criminal armed gun stolen suspect armed