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Drama unfolded in Karatina town after two boda boda riders accosted a 62-year-old man who had withdrawn Sh0.6 million at a local bank and snatched the cash from him.

James Karanja (not real names) a pensioner who had rendered his service to the nation as an Agricultural Extension Officer for over 30 years, had walked to the town’s Equity bank minutes past noon, carrying a cinnamon brown briefcase to make a transaction.

Dressed in a navy blue checked suit, white shirt and a matching polka dot tie, Mzee Karanja whose smoky grey hair was neatly combed backwards, cut a figure of a senior citizen with a life well lived and looking good for his age.

He strode into the banking hall leaving no doubt in the minds of the eagle eyed ‘nduthi men’ opposite the bank, that he had come to town for serious business.

Once inside, Mzee Karanja withdrew Sh600,000, from his account and divided it into two. Three bundles of Sh100,000 each were neatly arranged in his briefcase before he locked it, using a combination of codes. He then stuffed the remaining half into his pockets before walking out of the banking hall.

The senior citizen then walked straight to a roadside shed where he bought a pack containing ten packets of Supermatch brand cigarettes, opened his briefcase and arranged the package neatly besides the wads of notes before locking it, once again. Such an organized man!

Unbeknownst to him, two ‘nduthi men’ were all eyes behind him waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike! No sooner had the man taken a step back, than a blow that catapulted him to the ground met his face. Before he knew what had hit him, the two thugs had snatched the briefcase from him and jumped on their motorbike, which immediately sped off towards Sagana.

Luckily, two detectives based at DCI Karatina, had just stepped out of a restaurant where they had taken lunch, on time to catch a glimpse of the old man landing on the ground and the thugs making their daring escape.

Determined to stop them, the officers gave chase while shouting at the thugs to stop, in a scene not witnessed in the busy town in recent times. As fate would have it, an old jalopy suddenly joined the highway without warning and the rider hit it from behind.

His spirited attempts to regain control of the ill-fated beast failed, as it wobbled from one side of the road to the other before landing on the tarmac.

The thugs hurriedly left the bike on the road and escaped on foot limping, as they hurled the briefcase at the officers who were breathing down their backs.

Our men collected the briefcase, walked back and handed it over to the old man who had been helped on his feet by well wishers. He was escorted to Karatina police station where upon ascertaining that he did not suffer any injury, he carefully selected the combination to unlock his briefcase and confirmed that his money was intact.

Asked why he had carried such an amount of money in cash, the old man answered that he was on his way to a hardware shop to purchase some construction materials.

Mzee Karanja was escorted by detectives to his home a happy man, but with a lesson learnt. When asked by his wife why he hadn’t returned with construction materials but with an escort of not so good looking visitors, he retorted “Athuri aya ni maheo kihembe kia uuki.” “Give these men a gallon of honey.”

Meanwhile, the owner of the motorbike later presented himself at the police station and alleged that he had hired the bike to a rider on what is commonly known as ‘squad’ basis.

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