Two suspected thieves in Kenyan town of Nyeri were lynched by an angry mob after a failed robbery attempt early Wednesday, Kenyan police said.
A third suspect escaped a crowd of about 50 villagers who responded to a distress call from a young woman when she was accosted as she was trying to get into her house at around 5 am.
The mob apprehended the gang and caught two men who they beat up and later set ablaze using petrol and an old tyre.
Police from Nyeri Central Police Station arrived at the scene in a vain attempt to save the suspects from death.
A knife and an identity card were recovered from the deceased suspects.
In their pleas for mercy that fell on deaf ears, the suspects gave the names of their accomplices.
“It appears that there is a person from this area who is bringing people from outside to come and rob the people within this area," Nyeri County Administration Police Commander Njue Njagi said.
"We have been given the names of the one who escaped and we will make sure that he is arrested," he added But although a crime, the residents said they had been exasperated by the rising cases of insecurity and had been driven to take matters into their own hands.
“There is a big problem with insecurity in this area. We are happy because we are seeing that something is happening. This means that residents are finally realizing that they are responsible for their own security," a resident identified as Maina said.
But Njue told residents not to take any drastic steps, insisting that the police were working to maintain security in the area.
"The public should not act as the law. The suspect is supposed to be taken to court and when you kill them we will not get information from them," he said.
The bodies were taken to Nyeri PGH Mortuary.