Beware, you might just lose your laptop in a matatu

Last week I nearly lost my laptop in a matatu. A friend of mine had lost his not so long ago and I have been laughing at him all along. I mean it is so large, how would someone remove it from your bag without you knowing. It was a close shave, I was lucky I knew about the trick they use so I am going to share it, I am sure it will save someone from losing his/her laptop.

The guys work in a gang of at least 2 with cooperation from the conductor. One guys will sit beside you and another behind you. The guy beside you will always be carrying a bag which will totally obstruct his arms as he slowly opens your bag. At some point the guy behind you will pretend to receive a phone call about a crack down. He will then advice you to belt up. He will always do this just before a stage. As you fasten your seat belt the guy seated beside you will remove your laptop and put it in his. Before the fake call is made they make sure they have opened your bag. You will feel the laptop being removed but this is timed perfectly such that as soon as he has the laptop the matatu stops and they alight. Following them at this juncture is pointless as it is a gang, they might end up beating you up.

The sad thing is that passengers are so fearful they will not utter a word nor come out to help you. You should therefore be very cautious in public transport. Don’t pick any coins someone has dropped, it is always a ploy. Don’t listen to anyone telling you to fasten your seat belt, there are hardly any good Samaritans in public transport.

There is also another trick out there. You can lose your bag when boarding a matatu especially when people are scrambling to board it. The first guy will be the first one on the door and another will be directly behind you. The one in front will hesitate to climb as the one behind you cuts the straps of the bag. Since there is so much commotion you will hardly feel as this happens. You will be left there holding on to useless straps. The bus operators know about this but they can’t do anything about it. One tried to intervene and a day later he had acid poured on his eyes.

These incidences are particularly common along Ngong road and so be extra cautious when plying this route. Do you know any other ploy out there? Feel free to share it, it will go a long way in helping our brothers and sisters out there.

10 thoughts on “Beware, you might just lose your laptop in a matatu

  1. A while back, some random old lady would come up to you and ask you to call a certain number because she’s stranded and without a phone,,,so you think that you’re being THE GOOD SAMARITAN by calling the number. No-one picks the call btw. So after you inform the lady about this,,she’ll tell you that it’s okay. So you go on your way and before you know it,,,that same number calls you back and a whole bunch of people start shouting that you stole the woman’s phone(among other things) and she claims that that is her ringtone. You could get beat to pulp if you try and claim otherwise. /o\ (outside kmtc/the knh stage)

    There’s those who would insist on you opening the window you’re seated next to, knowing that it’s probably stuck…and as you turn to open it,,,your stuff goes.

    There’s the “Good Samaritan” that’s tell you to “Chunga Simu yako” and being all panicky, you check where you last put it to see if it’s still there. By the time your alighting from the bus/matatu, your phone’s gone.

    Also, someone will sit next to you and “pretend” to stretch their arm in order to remove the sweater or jacket they have on. This is how they drug you, and you pass out so your stuff is taken and when you wake up,,,you won’t really know wth happened. <<<I think this one was a news feature at some point this year.

    That's all I remember from the stories my friends tell me. If I get more,,,i'll be sure to add them. 🙂
    Let's be our brothers' and sisters' keepers.

    *Mapenzi.Love* 🙂

  2. Sad thing is…there are so many ways they can steal your electronics especially….so people just have to be cautious and aware of their surroundings.
    Little things like turning off your blue tooth, taking out your fare and putting it in an easy to reach place like the front pocket of your jeans(to avoid taking out your wallets and purses once inside the bus/matatu), taking note of suspicious looking guys inside a matatu/bus your about to get on…..It’s the little things that go a long way.

    *Mapenzi.Love* 🙂

  3. i pickd some keys for a random guy n paap my phone ikatolewa from a skiny jeans by a guy next to me with a mercy for u ..umerusha mawe polici

  4. a friend nearly lost her phone, this is how they operate..
    someone enters in a matatu with you, they strategically place themselves near you and they remove their smart look phone and they go like Bummer! (ofcz kenyan style is be ngai!) they turn to you and ask to call a friend and they explain how they’ve run out of credit and its very urgent, you out of goodwill help with your phone, the other end doesn’t pick and she returns the phone and gets off the matatu saying they need confirmation from their pal if they are to meet at that matatu destination.
    un be-known to you, another crew gets in and trail you, during the matatu ride, one of them pretends to search for his phone and says he’s been stolen from. another chips in “call the number” Remember that call you aided your damsel with? they now have your number and call it. ofcourse the phone rings from your pocket and you’re suddenly the “phone thief” and it is snatched out of you alongside blows.
    Lucky for my friend, her phone is ever on silent, so she narrowly escaped.
    A colleague’s friend sadly fell to such a prank and he was thoroughly beaten up.
    For guys beware, this tactic is used by pretty chicks to ask for your phone and of course macho boy wants to impress.

  5. Clearly thieves are getting smarter each day. I have heard of that prank where someone gets your number and you called later and accused of stealing your own phone. I know someone who nearly lost his phone that way. The only thing that saved is that the guys in the matatu were patient enough to listen to him. He turned off his phone and told the so called owner to turn it on and input the sim pin. It went all downhill for the thief from there

  6. ssooo sorry about that ……i could top up and say….its high time guys started carrying thier laptops in bags that dont scream to the whole world tht yo carrying one…….. i personally get home really late n i ve my machine with me it might be luck but if thieves were to mug me they would be looking for money nt my laptop…..pple invest in a non_laptop bag no one will bother you

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