PHUKET TOWN: The top policeman in Phuket Town, Pol Col Chalit Thinthanee, has issued instructions that a group of bag-snatchers are to be caught “dead or alive” after a huge surge in bag thefts in Phuket Town. Eleven cases have been reported in the past three weeks, five of them on Saturday and Sunday alone. All the thefts were from women riding motorcycles, some with their handbags in the basket, some on their shoulders. All lost cash and documents, and some lost jewelry as well. Four of the women were on motorcycles, while the fifth was riding a bicycle. In each case, the robber came up alongside on his own motorcycle, smiled at his victim, grabbed her bag and then sped away. Pol Capt Passakorn Sonthikul of Phuket Town Police said, “In all these cases, the thief was alone on the motorcycle. Many witnesses reported that he was wearing coveralls. “It appears that if the stolen bag did not contain enough money, he would just steal more until he was satisfied he had enough,” said Capt Passakorn. Police believe that the robberies are the work of a gang. Five people have been arrested but, said Col Chalit, “We don’t think we have caught the robber responsible for the five cases [over the weekend].” He added, “We have deployed undercover police in at least 10 places, with instructions to catch these thieves dead or alive. It’s only a matter of time before all of them are caught.”
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