Charity box bandit nabbed by The Magnet

PHUKET CITY: For a combination of stupidity and lack of ethics, few crimes in Phuket in recent years match that of a man who tried to steal a charity donation box placed on the main counter of the Phuket City Police Station on April 21.

At 12:30pm that day, a police officer noticed that the charity donation box for the Foundation for Rehabilitation & Development of Children and Family had gone missing.

Checking the station’s CCTV recording, the officers saw that the thief was a tall, dark-skinned man with long hair.

Superintendent Wanchai Ekpornpit ordered his deputy Lt Col Chaiwat Auykham, Crime Suppression Inspector Prawit Sutthireuangarun and Inspector for Investigations Wijak “The Magnet” Tarom to hunt down the criminal.

Lt Col Wijak has been dubbed “The Magnet” by the local media for his uncanny ability to solve difficult cases and bring criminals to justice.

This particular investigation did not prove much of a challenge, however.

At precisely 12:34pm – just four minutes after the crime was first noticed – The Magnet had got his man.

Lt Col Wichak spotted the man from the CCTV tape in the car park of the office of the nearby Phuket Police Cooperative.

On seeing the officers, the suspect ran up towards Yaowarat Road. The Magnet and his men gave chase.

The officers caught the suspect when, fatigued, he stopped to rest outside the police dormitories on Yaowarat Rd. He was still clutching the donation box, which was damaged in the incident and has not yet been replaced.

The man, identified as 24-year-old Imron Singkhan from Mai Khao, told police he had been out drinking with friends the night before.

On his way home he was arrested for drunk driving and forced to sleep at the police station.

The following morning, as he was walking out of the station, he saw the unguarded donation box and – his judgement perhaps clouded from the night before – decided to steal it.

He has now been charged with theft as well as driving under the influence.

Thailand News
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