A chief in Kitui Central escaped lynching after residents allegedly caught him stealing relief food on Wednesday night.
The assistant county commissioner for Miambani division, Paul Mwaura, on Thursday said they have launched investigations into the incident.
Mwaura however said the chief had indeed gone into hiding and was being sought.
He said two other suspects accused of helping the chief to load the relief food into a probox have been arrested.
Mwaura said the male suspects were being held at the Miambani police post.
Witnesses said the chief was accosted while attempting to steal 12 bags of relief food, which included rice and beans.
They said he was about to be lynched when police arrived.
The suspect however fled, disappearing into the darkness.
Police spent most of the night searching the chief who fled bare foot.
The 12 sacks of relief food that were found loaded into the probox were impounded.