Two of four robbers still missing after gold shop shooting

PHOTO: Two of four suspects are still at large after attempting to break into a gold shop where the champion shooter owner fired at them. (via Facebook video)

Two out of four suspects remain at large after an attempted gold shop robbery that ended in a hail of bullets. Four people tried to break into a gold shop in the Muang district of the northern province of Tak on Thursday. But they did not expect to be faced with a shop owner who is a champion marksman. He fired at the robbers, seriously injuring one. A second was apprehended a short distance away.

The remaining two are thought to have escaped the site of the botched robbery by fleeing through the Wang Chao district and possibly fleeing into Myanmar. Police think it’s possible they crossed through a forested area to the Phop Phra district, along the Burmese border.

After they went on the run, the deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 6 ordered officers to step up the search to catch the two fugitives. The other two who have already been apprehended had warrants out for their arrest for a previous gold robbery in the Phop Phra district in the north of Tak earlier this year in February. In that crime, 182 baht weight of gold was snatched.

On December 8 At 12.55pm, a gang of thieves shot through the glass shopfront of Yaowarat gold shop and let themselves in. As one of the robbers tried to cut through the steel bars with a grinding wheel, 41 year old shop owner Phisit Raphitphan fired one gunshot, causing the thieves to flee the scene empty-handed. One of them slipped on the broken glass.

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Phisit told police he had won several shooting competitions and so as the men tried to break in he fired four more shots. The final shot hit one of the assailants as he tried to flee on a motorbike. He fell to the ground. Police found him lying in a pool of blood outside the gold shop.

He was seriously injured and taken to Somdet Prachao Taksin Maharat Hospital for treatment. He was later transferred to a hospital in Phitsanulok province. Some media outlets reported rumours that he died in hospital, but that has not been substantiated.

Another assailant fled the gold shop on foot. He was caught and arrested in an alley nearby by officers from Mueang Tak Police Station. The remaining two thieves escaped on a motorbike and are still at large.

Video footage can be seen in our original story.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.