CrimeSouth

A burglar, in a hole, in the roof, in the night

A Nakhon Si Thammarat burglar, well-known to authorities, who dropped in from the ceiling rather than breaking in through a window or door was taken to the police by his long-suffering mother following his latest exploits. At about 2am the morning before, a thief had dropped in from the roof of a teacher’s home in the district and demanded 500 baht from her. Or rather asked quite politely,

Panya Promkerd, 28 years old, handed himself into Thung Yai police accompanied by his mum. She heard about the break-in on the local grapevine and suspected that Panya would be behind the story. Panya has a history of mental health issues.

Sasitorn Dechkrua, 29 years old, is a primary school teacher in Khao Phanom, Krabi. She was asleep when she heard a strange noise from the bathroom.

She said…

“I got up to look and a heavily-built intruder suddenly appeared by my side,” she said.

She had gone to bed without locking the door, but the burglar didn’t come in through the door. He came through the ceiling.

Panya entered an empty rental unit in Sasitorn’s terrace, and crawled along the roof space until he booted a hole in her place and dropped into her bathroom.

Sasitorn said the intruder put his hand over her mouth and told her not to make any noise, but she put up a fight, hoping to get her neighbours’ attention.

She said…

“He said he wasn’t going to hurt me, he just wanted 500 baht,” she said.

Figuring out the thief was perhaps not fully aware of what she was doing, she said she had no cash but offered to transfer him the money via an app on her phone.

Nobody’s fool, Panya said…

“If you do that, the police will find me, as they will trace the account number.”

She reassured him…

“Only if I tell them, but I won’t.”

So Panya gave her an account number, and she transferred the money.

He also asked her for sex, but she turned him down, so Panya abandoned the sex quest and told her he intended to return the money as soon as he was over his financial problems and left the same way he came in — through the ceiling

Before leaving, he warned her…

“When you go to bed, don’t forget to lock the door, because you are here alone, so it is dangerous.”

On Panya’s exit he cut himself, leaving blood on the bathroom floor. When Panya handed himself in, he was bandaged on his left elbow. After making his getaway, he visited a local health centre to get his injuries treated. He had not spent the money.

The next day his mother called to take Panya to the police. He had only recently been released from jail.

Sasitorn said that since the robbery she intends to move into rental flats at her school, where at least she will feel safer.

Police charged Panya with robbery.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career, Jon is now semi-retired, living in a quiet village in Krabi province, Thailand. He continues to write and is an avid traveler and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.