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Equity Bank Heist; Police Launch Manhunt

Equity Bank Heist; Police Launch Manhunt
An Equity Bank's branch. The lender's branch in Matuu was attacked by thugs on July 27, 2021.

Equity Bank Heist: Police are looking for a gang of men that attacked and conducted Equity Bank robbery outlet in Matuu on Tuesday morning.

Witness accounts say that three armed men attacked and disarmed police officers guarding the bank’s Yatta branch at about 10am today.

They then accessed the banking premises and proceeded to harass employees and customers who were present.

A security team, in response to the alarm raised, arrived shortly after but the officers were repulsed by gunfire from inside the bank.

The whole robbery took about 10 minutes with the gang managing to get away with an unknown amount of money.

An alert issued by the police in Machakos after the incident reads: “All commanders be on high alert this morning at Matuu Equity Bank. We had a robbery where our officers were robbed of their firearms.”

“OCS Matuu is in hot pursuit. The robbers are on foot, they may use motorbikes to escape from our areas. Cascade the same to all officers on the ground,” adds the police communication.

3 boda boda Operators Arrested in Connection

Three Boda Boda operators have been arrested in connection to the Matuu Equity Bank heist.

DCI detectives from Matuu are holding the trio after they were arrested for allegedly ferrying the thugs that raided the bank on Tuesday.

A sleuth privy to the investigations told the Star that the suspects will be arraigned in Kithimani Law Courts on Thursday.

She said two of the suspects were arrested on Tuesday, hours after the incident, while the third one was nabbed on Wednesday.

The source said the thugs who raided the bank might have gained entrance to the institution through a road passing behind it.

Equity Bank on Tuesday announced the branch’s closure following the incident. (Equity Bank H)

The bank, through a message circulated to its clients, said the branch had temporarily closed to allow for the ongoing investigations into the incident.

It urged its clients to use alternative ways to access the bank’s services including Equity Bank Cards, Equitel, Equity mobile, Online banking, Equity bank cards, equity agents, and ATMs until when the branch will re-open.

“Dear Member, Kindly note that we had a distressing incident today morning about unauthorized access into the banking hall of our Matuu Branch. Security agents led by local authorities are on the scene investigating the incident. Nobody was injured neither were the vaults accessed.

“In the meantime, you can access your account by dialing *247# or through; Equitel, Equity Mobile, Internet/Online banking, Equity Bank Cards, Equity Agents, and ATMs. Thank you for your understanding,” the SMS seen by the Star read.

Police have launched investigations into the incident that led to the theft of an unknown amount of money from the bank.

Both bank officials and police sources told reporters that the bank had been sealed off by security officers.

The thugs escaped before police arrived at the scene.

Yatta sub-county police commander Mary Njoki said two firearms from officers who were guarding the bank had been stolen.

The two officers were rushed to Matuu Level Four Hospital after they sustained injuries following the attack.

The incident was reported to the Matuu police station. The rifles were yet to be traced.

Police were informed that five armed robbers entered the bank at about 9am after injuring and disarming the officers guarding the bank.

Police rushed to the scene and established that a female officer sustained injuries on her hip joint, bruises on her left hand and her AK47 rifle with 30 rounds robbed off and another officer sustained bruises on both hands, pain on his private parts and his AK47 rifle with 30 rounds was also robbed.

Police stated that some customers were robbed in the banking hall during the incident.

An unknown amount of money was stolen from the customers present and the tellers.

“The injured officers were rushed to Matuu level 4 Hospital in fair condition,” Njoki said.

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