The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has come out to warn prospective car buyers in the Nairobi Metropolitan area on a new tactic employed by car thieves.
In a late-night update on its social media handles, the detectives revealed that the thieves target car hire companies where they pose as interested customers.
Once in possession of the vehicle, the thieves forge ownership documents which they then use to advertise the vehicle and ultimately sell it to innocent buyers.
DCI Headquarters in Nairobi/ Photo Courtesy
"Forging details in the vehicles' original documents the cons go ahead to fake the identity of genuine car owners, making it difficult for their to-be customers to detect any discrepancies after conducting a search," DCI wrote on social media.
The authorities suspect that the thieves do this in collaboration with rogue car hire agents.
Clients are then convinced to pay a percentage of the vehicle's buying price before the vehicle's logbook is transferred to their name.
The vehicles are left in the buyer's possession. The logbook transfer never happens as the 'sellers' go missing.
It is at this point that the prospective buyers realise they are victims in a well-crafted scheme to part them from their money.
The car hire company has, at this point, reported the missing vehicle to the police and it is later found in the possession of an innocent buyer who fell to the tricks of car thieves.
Several victims have been conned in this manner in Kiambu and Murang'a counties.