Woman steals car of app-based driver in Chon Buri

Police returned a sedan that was stolen by a woman with mental health issues to its 75 year old owner from an app-based ride service. The theft occurred last Friday when the passenger forced the owner out of the vehicle and drove off.

Although the car owner forgave the thief due to her condition, police officers stated that they would proceed with prosecution until they receive official medical confirmation of the illness.

Last Friday, February 7, the app-based driver Mongkhonrat Yana, sought help from netizens saying his black Toyota Camry sedan was stolen by a female passenger. The passenger attacked him and kicked him out of the car before driving away from the scene.

Mongkhonrat said he picked up the female passenger, later identified as 30 year old Kannika, at a petrol station in the Nong Khang Khok sub-district of Chon Buri. The destination was the Bangkok Bus Terminal in the Mor Chit neighbourhood.

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According to Mongkhonrat, he had exited the car to search for the passenger at a petrol station when Kannika suddenly entered the vehicle. Instead of taking a seat as a passenger, she jumped into the driver’s seat and claimed she was in a rush and needed to drive the car herself. Despite being caught off guard, Mongkhonrat trusted Kannika and did not suspect any criminal intentions, allowing her to drive away with his car.

After travelling ten kilometres, Kannika informed Mongkhonrat that she wanted to change their destination to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand and offered him 30,000 baht. This sudden change made Mongkhonrat realize that the situation was not normal anymore.

In an attempt to stop the car, he tried to remove the key from the ignition while they were stuck in a traffic jam on Rama 4 Road in Bangkok. A struggle for the key ensued, but with Kannika being younger and stronger, she managed to force Mongkhonrat out of the car and drove away, leaving him on the side of the road.

Kannika’s mother, 55 year old Boonyuen, took her daughter to surrender to the police at Lumphini Police Station on Saturday, February 11.

Boonyuen said she was shocked by her daughter’s actions. She said Kannika disappeared from a family’s house in the central province of Phetchabun on Tuesday, January 31. The family was looking for her everywhere until she appeared back home in Mongkhonrat’s car.

Boonyuen explained that Kannika was suffering from a mental health issue after being involved in a recent car accident. She had crashed her car into another vehicle and was unable to pay the 200,000 baht in compensation to the victim, causing her immense stress.

Two months after the accident, Kannika began self-harming and showing signs of a mental breakdown. The family was in the process of taking her to the hospital when she disappeared from her home in her car.

According to Boonyuen, Kannika drove her car from Phetchabun to Bangkok and parked it near a friend’s home on Chang Wattana Road. After leaving the car there for an extended period, the police seized it due to suspicions of criminal activity.

Kannika thought her car was stolen and became more stressed, so she decided to steal another car to go back home.

Mongkhonrat has expressed understanding and forgave Kannika. He said he just wanted to get his car back.

The Superintendent of the Lumphini Police Station, Nimit Noophonthong, emphasized that Kannika did not appear to be suffering from a mental illness and was able to provide information to the police without difficulty. He stated that Kannika would remain in custody until a medical document confirming her mental illness was submitted.

Kannika was initially charged with violating Section 339 of the Criminal Law, which states that anyone who uses violence or threatens violence to steal assets from another person will face imprisonment for five to ten years and a fine of 10,000 to 20,000 baht.

Woman steals car of app-based driver in Chon Buri | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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