Maybe the 19th time is the charm? A man was arrested in Pattaya for stealing a Russian woman’s phone, and, as it turns out, he had previously been arrested for theft 19 times before.
The 54 year old Thai man was arrested this time after he was caught stealing a phone from a Russian woman. She reported to the police that she was walking on a road in Soi 14 Naklua in the Bang Lamung district in Chonburi on February 23. The suspect drove up on his motorbike, snatched a phone from her, and then sped off on his bike.
But his act of thievery was ill-timed as CCTV cameras captured footage of him and the Pattaya Police were able to easily identify the familiar criminal. The investigation identified the serial thief and they were able to track down his location quickly and apprehend him.
The suspect was arrested by the Pattaya Police at 3pm on February 27. He was nabbed in his home in the Ban Bueng sub-district. Police found the Russian woman’s phone at his house, as well as the motorcycle he was riding when he committed the crime.
As they were processing the crime, Pattaya Police data revealed that the suspect is a repeat offender. Police say he has committed numerous unlawful acts in the Pattaya area and has been arrested over 19 times.
The repeat offending thief generally targets female tourists in his crimes. He looks for foreign women walking alone and carrying a purse, making a quick snatch and run easy.
The suspect is presently in police custody, again. He is awaiting processing and criminal charges. But after 19 arrests, it is unclear if he will be given bail and allowed straight back onto the streets.
The incident and long criminal record have raised questions about the handling and punishment for a habitual criminal in Pattaya, especially after being marred by repeated thefts committed against foreigners. The now infamous sting of gold necklace snatches has put a spotlight on other robberies and crimes in the popular tourist town.
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