Trans suspect allegedly snatches cash and gold from Russians in Pattaya (video)

Photo by The Pattaya News.

A transgender suspect allegedly snatched cash and gold necklaces from a Russian couple in Pattaya earlier this week.

Officers took the suspect into custody at the Pattaya Police Station on charges of stealing 2,500 baht in cash and two gold necklaces from 51 year old Nikolay Smirnova and 51 year old Elena Smirnova.

According to the couple, the suspect approached them and greeted them with a welcome hug and took selfies with them on Jomtien Beach at 10.30pm on Tuesday. It was only after the suspect walked away that the couple realised their valuables had gone missing.

At Pattaya Police Station, Superintendant Pol. Col. Thanapong Phothi, identified the alleged thief as Watcharapong Ponpun, a 27 year old transgender individual from Buriram province in northeast Thailand.

The superintendent informed Pattaya News that upon receiving the theft report on May 23, he promptly initiated a search using CCTV footage and eyewitness testimonies to trace the whereabouts of the suspect. Eventually, he discovered that the suspect had taken a taxi to Bangkok after selling one of the stolen gold necklaces at an undisclosed gold shop in Pattaya.

However, Pol. Col. Thanapong revealed that the culprit ran out of money and contacted the same gold shop again to sell the remaining stolen necklace.

Pol. Col. Thanapong dispatched a team to closely monitor the situation and patiently waited until the perpetrator arrived in a taxi from Bangkok to the gold shop. As soon as the authorities observed Watcharapong taking out the gold necklace to sell to the buyer, they quickly intervened and apprehended Watcharapong

Initially, Watcharapong confessed to pickpocketing Nikolay and Elena on Jomtien Beach. They claimed that it was their first time committing such a crime and admitted to using the stolen money for online gambling, lending it to friends, and daily expenses.

Watcharapong is currently in police custody awaiting further charges as the investigation progresses.

There have been several thefts by transgender individuals in Pattaya in the past year.

Earlier this month, two Indian men separately reported thefts by transgender individuals on the same night. In both incidents, the thieves ripped gold necklaces off the victims’ necks.

Crime NewsPattaya News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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