AutomotiveCrimeHot NewsPhuket

Aussie man apprehended in Phuket after taking erratic joy ride in stolen car

Thai police apprehended an Aussie man after he was found to have stolen a car at the Phuket International Airport and proceeded to take an erratic joy ride.

The man reportedly stole the car at the airport’s car park, hit a parked vehicle and fled the scene. He then ran through two police checkpoints before he was apprehended.

According to the Phuket News, Sakhu Police were informed by a Thai man at around 5.50pm that his white Toyota Yaris had been stolen from the airport by a foreign man.

Police tracked the stolen car through its GPS, prompting officers to set up a checkpoint on Chao Fa East Road. But the 55 year old Aussie, John Joseph Donnelly, ignored the checkpoint. Officers say he drove by the checkpoint at full speed, prompting them to chase him by motorbike.

Donnelly encountered another checkpoint and struck a motorbike being driven by Filipp Vorontsov a 35 year old Russian national. Vorontsov did not suffer serious injuries, but his motorbike went under the left front of the stolen car.

Donnelly attempted to keep driving but the motorbike blew out his left front tyre. He stopped near Friendship Beach and attempted to flee on foot.

Police caught up to him and took him to Chalong Police Station and then to Sakhu Police Station, where they charged him with multiple offences. Auto theft and reckless driving causing damage to private property were among those offences.

Donnelly already had a criminal record in Phuket Town for theft, according to Bandasak Srilert of the Sakhu Police. He is reportedly known to be on medication for a mental disorder.

Meanwhile, Phuket immigration is launching a ‘red card’ system for wayward foreigners which will see them deported after two offences.

Praphansak Prasansuk, Commander of the Immigration Region 6 office, announced the system yesterday.

“Under the system, a foreigner will be designated a ‘yellow card’ for a first offence. The foreigner will be issued a formal warning and the relevant embassy will be notified.”

When the foreigner leaves the country after completing the current stay, he/she will be denied entry on the next visit due to their unlawful act that “caused trouble and behaved [in a way] that is a threat to society.”

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.