Thai men caught for 10 million baht motorway CCTV system shutdown theft

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

Two men were nabbed by the police in Chon Buri for stealing power cables from the PattayaRayong motorway, an act that led to the complete shutdown of the CCTV system along the inter-provincial highway last month. The arrested individuals, 35 year old Anulak Obchoo, and 31 year old Traiphop Buahom, were caught in tambon Huai Yai of Bang Lamung district in the early hours of today.

The duo had been named in arrest warrants issued by the Pattaya Court. Upon their arrest, the police discovered around 40 kilogrammes of copper, power cables measuring nearly 100 metres, and cable cutters from their residence.

In the previous month, the police intercepted a gang in the act of stealing cables from the same motorway in tambon Nong Prue of Bang Lamung district. A 38 year old Lao man, Xammao Boutakeo, was apprehended during the operation, while the rest of the gang members managed to evade arrest.

The theft resulted in approximately 10 million baht worth of damages, as it led to the CCTV system’s failure along the entire 32 kilometres of the Pattaya-Rayong (Map Ta Phut) motorway, the police reported.

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Xammao, the arrested Lao man, implicated the two Thai men as his superiors. Anulak allegedly confessed to the police that their gang had conducted around 50 similar thefts from the motorway in Chon Buri and Rayong provinces. The gang would then sell the copper found within the cables to scrap shops, earning about 20,000 baht each time.

The police noted that another member of the gang remains on the run, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, The Royal Thai Highway Department calculated that for the year 2023, public property theft including power cables, electricity transformers, and other traffic signal equipment, amounted to a staggering loss of more than 30 million baht (US$852,043). Read more about the story HERE.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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