Are These Key Holders Being Used to Track and Rob People as Alleged?

By Calvin Rock

Piga Firimbi recently came across a WhatsApp post claiming that criminals are giving out keyholders fitted with trackers at petrol Stations and Malls which they allegedly use to track and rob unsuspecting victims.


Crime rates in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi are relatively high. Data on the National Crime Research Center website shows that muggings, stealing and burglaries are the leading crimes in Nairobi. The National Police service Annual Crime Report (2018) also indicates that Nairobi had the highest crime numbers in 2018 at 7,128 cases. Consequently, any anecdotes, incidences or warnings of crime are very likely to cause alarm. In some instances, the crime advisories are false alarms. 


The pictured keyholders are indeed fitted with wireless Bluetooth anti-loss Key trackers as marketed on the go-dynergy website. The image is actually from the very same website that is an online retailer based in North West London. According to the website, the retailer deals in “Homeware, Barware, Gifts & Gadgets, Electronics and Quirky products”. The keyholders are shown to retail for £24.99 (a little over 3,800 Kenyan shillings) and it may be impracticable to have criminals handing them out for free. 

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A screenshot from the Dynergy website

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), which routinely updates citizens on recurring crimes via its Twitter handle DCI KENYA does not enlist reports of keyholders being used to rob unsuspecting victims.

Moreover, claims about these keyholders are not recent and according to this article by fact-checking organization, Snopes, these claims were reported as early as 2008. The claims have resurfaced again and again over the years.

“In this case we don’t need to engage in any skeptical speculation, though, because we know the origins of this rumor. It began with the free distribution of completely innocuous, (light-activated) flashing key rings at gas stations in South Africa as a promotional device for gasoline retailer Caltex (a brand name of the Chevron Corporation), and the claims of criminal activity associated with those key rings are completely false,” the Snopes article states.

“While our first sighting of the warning dates to August 2008 and places the suspicious activity in South Africa, numerous versions altering the nationality of the supposed bad guys and/or the country where the mayhem was taking place have surfaced since then,” the article further reiterates.


Claims that these keyholders are being used to rob people are FALSE.

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