PHUKET: Motorbike-riding bag-snatchers have been busy over the past week, police report, with two or three cases a day, all in the same area south of Phuket Town. “Most of the thefts took place on Chao Fa Nok Rd, Chao Fa Nai Rd, Kwang Rd, or Sakdidet Rd,” said an undercover policeman who asked not to be named. “They work in pairs, with the passenger being the one who snatches the bag. We believe that there are two or three gangs of them.” He added that although the thieves make no attempt to disguise themselves, it is difficult to catch them red-handed as the thefts take place at different times and in different places each day. However, all the victims – who were all women – told the police that the snatchers are teenage males. The thieves’ method is to drive around until they identify a potential victim – someone with a purse or other valuables in the front basket of her motorcycle, or wearing a gold necklace. The snatchers overtake the victim to check out the goods, then stop by the side of the road. As she drives past, the thieves pull out, draw alongside, snatch her valuables, and accelerate away. “Women should not wear scoop-necked or low-cut blouses because it is easy for the thieves to snatch your necklace. You should also not put your valuables in the front basket,” warned Pol Col Chalit Thintanee, superintendent of Phuket Town Police Station. “If you see anyone behaving suspiciously, stop and call the police,” he added. The phone numbers for the Phuket Town Police Station are 222129, 220931, 212115, 216856 ext 400, or the emergency number, 191.
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