In Kenya, people live with the fear of being victims of thieves. This is especially the case in Nairobi town. When you live in Kenya, you quickly discover that not everyone has good intentions. There are those who thrive in stealing from fellow Kenyans. Thieves in Kenya are a nuisance, and the rise in mob justice in Kenya signifies that Kenyans are tired of waiting for the police to act. It may be a lack of evidence or lax laws in Kenya, but somehow soon after a thief is caught he is released back into the society. If you have been on the receiving end of a thief’s actions in Kenya, then you know how much it hurts when something is taken from you by someone who has no right to even touch it in the first place. Harsh economic times in Kenya and increase in criminal activities signal a need to remain vigilant in spotting thieves in Kenya. Some of the thieves in Nairobi even carry shap objects to cut peoples handbags and clothes to access your property. Fortunately there are some signs and places you can look out for especially in Nairobi.
Forget about the face
There is a lot of misconception in Kenya on what a thief is supposed to look like. This misconception is spread in movies and television shows, where thieves are shown to have ugly or mean looking faces. Do not look at the face of someone and assume he cannot be a thief in Nairobi because he is clean-shaven or nice looking. This is one of the areas where looks can really be deceiving. In Nairobi, the experts of stealing are actually very smartly dressed people- especially the new trend in Nairobi is men in suits.
The dress type
If you spot a young man wearing many t-shirts then you should be on alert. You can easily spot this by looking at the neck area. Usually you will see a t-shirt peeping out from under another t-shirt. Thieves in Nairobi wear many layers of clothing so that they will be able to quickly remove the one they were spotted with once they turn a corner. The individual may also have a hat that will most likely cover his facial features so that he cannot be identified.
Type of shoes
Running shoes are the shoes of choice for thieves in Kenya who like to snatch and run. This is because running shoes are light, comfortable and will not cut into their soles when they run from the crowd in Nairobi. The shoes will usually be dirty or well worn as the thief will have spent many hours wearing them. The clothes may be very clean, but the shoes will cause you to wonder why such a smart man would not take care of his shoes.
The stance in Nairobi
A thief in Kenya will be scouting out the area in search of the perfect prey. He may stand as if waiting for someone in a corner that will give him an advantage to see what is going on. His eyes will be darting from side to side as he searches for his prey. Once he identifies his prey, he will then embark on a little stalking as he waits for the opportune time to strike.
What to beware of in Nairobi
Beware of thieves who work in groups. In Nairobi, one person in such a group will suddenly walk up to you and start asking you questions or directions to a place. Then another person will sneak up on you and snatch your property before you realize what is happening.
Another stealing scenario in Kenya is when you are in a matatu. There are those thieves who wait for unsuspecting Kenyans to enter a matatu, and they snatch their bags or phones through the window. This is especially common around Ngara area in Nairobi. During traffic, the street boys and thief keep criss-crossing the roads in search of phones or tablets to snatch and run with. This happens almost every corner of Nairobi. Nairobi residents should beware of the stealing tactics being employed by Kenyans.
Another scenario is when you alight from a vehicle in Nairobi. This is before you arrange your property well or focus on your bearings, a thief snatches some and runs off with them. Areas such as Muthurwa, GPO, Railways roundabout and Tom Mboya Street are areas you need to be especially alert as thieves prefer such crowded areas in Nairobi.
A good way to avoid falling victim to crime in Kenya is to always be on guard in Nairobi. Be aware of your surroundings and the people in it. Be alert to changes but do not become so completely immersed in an unfolding scene that you forget to be alert. It may end up just being a distraction. You may genuinely want to help a person in distress in Kenya, but you should take caution as thieves have developed elaborate systems where they play victims before pouncing on Kenyans. Stay alert and stay safe and remember, if after all your vigilance you are cornered by criminals, your life is worth more than your property at all times.