An Italian national who was reported to have tricked a Nairobi taxi driver into leaving his car unattended before speeding into Mombasa was given a reprieve after the owner of the car pardoned him.
Maurizio Monticelli pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle in the Kibera courts, but the owner of the car, Amos Kalawa, withdrew the case against him.
Monticelli had told local judge William Tulel that the allegations that he stole the Sh1.1 million car on July 3 were true. He pleaded guilty twice.
After being found by car on July 13, the suspect was charged with handling stolen property. The charges were also dropped.
He was charged with dishonestly keeping the car when he knew or had reason to believe it was stolen.
Monticelli stole the car from a taxi driver hired by Kalawa. Kalawa said he did not want to pursue the case after his car was recovered in Shanzu, Mombasa.
He reportedly hired a driver in Bamburi and Shanzu to drive the car as a taxi.
Monticelli reportedly hired the taxi driver to drive him to Nairobi CBD. But after driving a distance, he told the driver to stop at a gas station where he was going to buy cigarettes.
He tricked the driver into checking that the shop at the gas station was open and left the ignition keys on the car with the engine running.
Monticelli jumped into the driver’s seat and sped off in the direction of town.
The incident was reported at Parklands Police Station. The police later chased the car.