An Italian man who stole a car from a taxi driver in Mombasa walked away scot-free despite pleading guilty at the Kibera Law courts in Nairobi.
Maurizio Monticelli stole a car belonging to one Amos Kalawa, who had hired a driver to operate the vehicle as a taxi in Bamburi and Shanzu.
On July 3, the accused hired the taxi driver to drive him to Nairobi CBD. After driving for a distance, Monticelli told the driver to stop at a fuel station to buy some cigarettes.
Monticelli duped the driver, asking him to check whether the shop at the petrol station was open. The clueless driver left the engine running and before he realized it was a trick, Monticelli jumped in the driver’s seat and sped off towards town.
The incident was reported at the Parklands police station in Nairobi. Police later tracked the car to Shanzu, Mombasa, and arrested the Italian man on July 13.
When he appeared in court, Monticelli was accused of dishonestly retaining the car in the course of stealing it knowing or having reasons to believe it to be stolen.
He told resident magistrate William Tulel that the charges that he stole a car worth Sh1.1 million on July 3 were true.
The Italian also pleaded guilty to a second count of handling stolen property after he was found with the car.
Monticelli, however, walked away scot-free after the car’s owner pardoned him and dropped the charges. Kalawa withdrew the case saying he did not wish to pursue it any further because he recovered his car.