Bold trio rob tourists of 200,000 baht

PHUKET TOWN: A couple on vacation in Phuket had cash and belongings worth about 200,000 baht stolen from their car yesterday afternoon by a gang who distracted their attention while their possessions were taken. Luckana “Ann” Polthep, 26, from Nonthaburi, came to Phuket on vacation with her foreign boyfriend. The couple, who were staying in Patong, withdrew 60,000 baht from the Krung Thai Bank branch on Phang Nga Rd, Phuket Town, yesterday afternoon. K Ann said that, after withdrawing the cash, they planned to drive around Phuket Town. When they stopped their pick-up truck at a red light at the intersection of Thepkrasattri Rd and Damrong Rd, near Satree Phuket School, two Thai women on a motorbike tapped on the window and told them they had a flat tire, then pointed to a nearby repair shop. “We looked at the tire. It seemed like it had gone flat just moments before. We decided not to follow their directions to the repair shop but went instead to a car showroom on Thepkrasattri Rd where I knew someone,” K Ann said. At the showroom, the couple got out of the car to look at the tire, which appeared to have been slashed with a knife. Their friend at the showroom noticed a good-looking man, possibly from the Mediterranean, standing and watching what they were doing. “The showroom employee said later that he thought the man had come with us. Another employee saw him open the door of the car and then walk toward the toilets,” K. Ann told the Gazette. ” I didn’t know anything was wrong until the repair was completed and I went to pay for it and found my handbag was gone.” In the bag was the 60,000 baht in cash, a video camera, a conventional camera, a mobile phone, credit cards and personal documents. By this time both the man and the two women on the bike were already long gone. “The thief was about 40 years old, and was dressed in a white shirt and shorts. He smiled at me but I didn’t see him holding my bag. He was a handsome guy with beautiful skin; any woman looking at him would go crazy,” K Ann said. After discovering the theft, K. Ann and her boyfriend contacted Krung Thai Bank and asked to look at videotapes from the bank’s security system. On the tapes they saw the thief talking into a mobile phone. Bank staff said that he was not employed at the bank, and had transacted no business in the branch. “Last night the police contacted me to tell me that a credit card and our passports had been found at the bottom of Toh Sae Hill, near the Provincial Hall. “We want to warn people who withdraw a lot of money from a bank to be very careful about who is watching them, and to try to remember the faces of people around them,” K. Ann added.

Phuket News
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