Phone thief nabbed in Surin Beach convenience store


Phuket police arrested a Thai man soon after he stole a bag containing an iPhone 8 Plus from a Russian tourist at a beach on Sunday evening.

27 year old Preach Homsup from Ubon Ratchathani, was arrested at 7pm in front of a Family Mart convenience store in Tambon Choeng Thalay, Thalang district, near Surin Beach. He was charged with stealing a black iPhone 8 Plus and a backpack belonging to 29 year old Angelina Belova two hours earlier. Belova told police officers patrolling the beach that her bag containing her smartphone, hotel room key charging cable, selfie stick, earplugs and power bank were stolen from the beach while she was swimming.

Police used Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ service to track it down to the Family Mart but when they arrived neither the phone nor the thief were there.

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They then used Find My iPhone again and the phone was shown as being on a hill behind Aman Buri Hotel. When police searched the area, they found the woman’s SIM card, pair of glasses and black shoes.

The officers returned to the store, checked CCTV footage and saw the man on it. Suddenly, the same man walked in while officers were still there. Police searched the backpack he was carrying, found the iPhone 8 and other items and took him to the police station for questioning.

He admitted that he often preyed on tourists at the beach, waiting for them to go swimming so he could steal their belongings. Preecha said he had taken the woman’s backpack to a look-out spot near the beach, and left it there after removing the iPhone and a few other items.

He went to buy something at the Family Mart store before testing the smartphone behind the hotel and when saw police coming so he fled to the beach before walking back to the store.

Belova thanked the police for retrieving her stolen items so quickly. Police also found several credit cards and four more phones in Preecha’s bag and were later on Monday trying to track down their owners, too.

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