A new trick motorists use to steal refilled cooking gas has alerted attendants at service stations.
On Thursday, June 1, one attendant raised the alarm after a lady posed as a customer buying a Ksh7,000 cylinder only to flee without paying.
The lady walked to the gas refill station in Kiambu County and asked for the cylinder to be ferried and stored inside the car's boot.
She then hopped into the vehicle, and the driver sped off.
"They loaded it into the vehicle and sped off without paying. I remember the registration number. It is not easy. Times are hard," the victim narrated.
According to the attendant, the suspects drive expensive cars to hoodwink them into believing they can pay. Following the incident, the attendant reported the incident to the Karura Police Patrol Base to recover the payment and have the culprits arrested.
The incident caused an uproar over the high cost of living forcing Kenyans to steal in broad daylight. Some concerned parties advised the attendants to demand payment before delivering the goods.
"These cases are becoming a nuisance. I do not know what needs to happen for such cases to end. They are now on the rise simply because nothing happens to the culprits," one sympathiser suggested.
Refilling a gas cylinder ranges from Ksh900 and Ksh6,000 depending on the quantity and gas station. President William Ruto, who has been under pressure to reduce the cost of living, was recently caught flat foot with a review of his promise to lower the price of cooking gas.
In March 2023, Ruto promised to lower the price of gas cylinders between Ksh300 and Ksh500 for a 6-kilogram barrel by June 2023.
"To reduce the gas prices, we will remove the tax. The gas cylinders you buy will move from Ksh2800 to Ksh300 or Ksh500 from June," Ruto pledged in one of his many promises after assuming office.
However, on May 14, in a joint media interview with journalists at State House, Nairobi, he changed his tune, stating that it would be impossible to fulfill the pledge prior to releasing the 2023/24 budget.
“We must first approve this in the budget. As of now, there is no way to waive the tax until a new budget is passed. June 1 is not possible until we pass it through Parliament. If we had passed it through the supplementary budget, then June would be possible. But we tried to, and it was impossible because it would force us to change a certain law," he explained.
Meanwhile, the tricks used to steal cooking gas are similar to when drivers sped off after fueling at different petrol stations, a habit that peaked between September 2022 and March 2023.
Motorists in high-end vehicles were reported to flee with bills of up to Ksh10,000, leaving the petrol station attendant grappling with the expenditures.
Most of the incidents were captured by the CCTV cameras. In one incident, the driver ran over an attendant as he attempted to escape.
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