A woman from Baragu village in Mitheru, Tharaka Nithi County was nearly set on fire after she was caught milking a neighbor’s goat Monday morning.

Angry villagers claimed the suspect, identified as Wanja Mbabu, had become a thieving menace in the village.

“There have been reports concerning stolen property in this village and this led to arrest of Wanja,” said village head Beatrice Kinyua.

She added that the suspect had been jailed at Meru prison and was released recently after giving birth.

Wanja’s son, Gerald Njagi, said his mother’s stealing habits were bizarre because she steals anything.

“I don’t believe my mother’s stealing habit is normal. She can steal anything that she comes across,” said Mr. Njagi.

The irate villagers who were baying for Wanja’s blood said they were not ready to live with a serial thief in the same village. Other villagers sympathized with the suspect saying she has a problem that needs to be addressed.

Mr John Kiambi said: “Wanja needs help and not lynching. We have to understand times are hard.”

“The act should challenge each of us about the many social challenges affecting women especially needy, poor and the ordinary,” said Patrick Muchiri.

Wanja Mbabu, who had already been tied up and covered in firewood and a tyre, was instead taken to Mitheru police post to face the law.