Thieves posing as Daystar students steal two bikes from businessman

by Sumaya Hussein

(husseinsumaya1@gmail.com)

Student entrepreneur Noah Karuri at his bike station few meters from Daystar University, Athi River – PHOTO/Denis Mavia

Two men stole two mountain bikes from a student with a bike hiring business using a lost student ID that belonged to another Daystar student. The two men hired bikes from Noah Karuri, the business owner, on May 25, never to be seen again.

According to Karuri, the men looked like students and one of them resembled the picture in the student ID, which was handed over before taking the bikes as per the regulations. The two also left their mobile numbers, one a Safaricom and the other an Airtel number, before taking off at around 3pm.

“They were new clients. I had not seen them around, so I thought they were freshmen. When they came to hire the bikes, they asked me about the requirements and I told them they had to leave their IDs, either national or student ID, and their phone numbers too,” said Karuri

According to Karuri, the two men did not specify where they were going and how long they would take. Since they said they were headed to Mombasa Road, Karuri decided to call and check in on them after two hours. He dialed the Airtel number for the first time at around 5pm and the owner picked, saying the two were on their way back.

“After one hour again, I called them at around six. They said they’re almost at Lukenya Getaway. But at that point I felt suspicious,” said Karuri.

In a state of panic, Karuri took a bike to Lukenya Getaway to try and locate the men but did not see them. He went further up to Lukenya Boys High School and the result was the same. He called again at around 6:30pm, but this time, the number did not go through.

“It was off. I couldn’t believe it,” said Karuri. “I chose to think that maybe their phone went off or something came up and they’re still coming,”

After closing the business for the day, Karuri in the company of a friend, cycled to Mombasa Road in search of the bikes.
“We cycled all the way to Green Park then to Devki, and we came back at around eight. We didn’t see anyone,” said Karuri.

Going back to his records, Karuri was shocked yet again when he discovered that the other number left behind was incomplete. It had one less digit and this led him to think that the disappearance was planned.
“It was strategic. So I was sure that something had really happened,” said Karuri.

The following day, Karuri reported to the matter to the police, who asked him to first confirm with the university whether the student ID left behind was still valid.

After following up on the matter, Karuri learnt that the ID belonged to a student, who misplaced it in early 2020 and replaced it two weeks later. Speaking to Involvement, the third-year Valley Road student said that he lost the ID when his wallet was stolen in Nairobi West. The student who goes by the name Trevor alone, also mentioned that he has never been to the Athi River Campus.

After checking back with the police, Karuri learnt that the new information further complicated the mystery. He was told that there was not much that could be done since the ID used was fake and the Airtel number would be hard to trace.

Being the first time it has happened, Karuri said that the loss affected him to a point that he couldn’t sleep or eat. He now lives in constant fear that his business might be targeted again.

“I have had trauma every day,” said Karuri. “A lot of trauma. When someone leaves with a bike, I can’t help but wonder whether or not they will come back especially if it’s a new person”.

The incident however, he says, has made him more vigilant and forced him to introduce stricter protocols in his business.

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