Burglaries in Phatthalung cause losses worth millions

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod

A string of burglaries in Phatthalung has left local shop owners on edge, with thieves breaking into shops six times in two months and causing losses worth millions of baht. Despite police efforts, the culprits remain at large, prompting growing concern among residents.

Amporn Khongliam, the 60 year old owner of Pakieng Agriculture Shop in Moo 5, Na Pakho Subdistrict, Bang Kaeo District, Phatthalung, reported that her store had been targeted by thieves six times over the past two months. The first incident occurred on April 19, when the burglars broke into a coin-operated oil vending machine.

Amporn explained that the thieves returned twice more, and then, two weeks later, they broke into a neighbouring shop, drilled into a safe in her bedroom, and stole gold necklaces, diamonds, and gold-encased amulets worth millions of baht. Just a few days later, the perpetrators returned to steal computers and dismantle the CCTV server, Amporn said.

“Last night, on June 4, the thieves climbed a tree, dismantled the roof of the coin-operated oil vending machine, and stole the money inside. They even tilted the CCTV camera. I’m exhausted, every profit I make goes to these thieves.”

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Amporn reported each incident at Bang Kaeo Police Station. Forensic officers have collected fingerprints and DNA samples but the culprits remain at large. She expressed frustration, saying that if the thieves strike four more times, she will be forced to close her shop permanently, as they’ve already taken all her valuables.

Despite installing 16 CCTV cameras around her shop, both inside and outside, Amporn feels hopeless. She urged the police to expedite their efforts in catching these criminals. The repercussions are not limited to her shop; the entire village lives in fear of these repeated thefts.

Shop burglary

CCTV footage from Amporn’s shop on June 4 showed a man, estimated to be between 20 and 30 years old, approximately 170 centimetres tall, wearing a balaclava and a cap. He adjusted the camera angle before committing the theft, making it difficult to capture his face.

On the same night, the same thief targeted 63 year old Jamlong Thumkao’s shop, about 1 kilometre away from Amporn’s shop. Jamlong reported that the thief cut through the steel mesh next to the road. The noise woke her son, who checked the CCTV footage on his phone and saw the thief cutting the mesh. When he shouted, the thief fled on a motorcycle, reported KhaoSod.

Jamlong mentioned that the same thief had broken into her shop 15 days earlier, stealing over 3,000 baht (US$82) in cash. Despite reporting it to the police and having them collect fingerprints and DNA samples, there have been no results. The thief returned a second time, Jamlong said.

“I’m extremely worried about these frequent thefts in our area. Nearly every day, there’s a break-in. We can’t sleep soundly because we have to guard our properties. I urge the police to take stricter actions or catch the thief soon. Everyone here is suffering.”

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Bright Choomanee

With a degree in English from Srinakharinwirot University, Bright specializes in writing engaging content. Her interests vary greatly, including lifestyle, travel, and news. She enjoys watching series with her orange cat, Garfield, in her free time.

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