Charity collectors “may be thieves’

KAMALA: Police have issued a warning for people to be wary of thieves operating in Kamala. The thieves impersonate volunteers soliciting donations for a legitimate cause. One local resident explained to the Gazette, “A man in a blue safari suit came to my house on Sunday morning. The guard let him onto the property because he thought the man was there to do repairs. “When I answered the door, he quickly flashed an ID card and asked for a donation. When I questioned him in detail as to where the funds would go, he said that he would use them to build caskets for families without sufficient resources for that purpose. When I declined to participate, he abruptly turned away and went to knock on the door of a neighbor’s house. “Later, our guard intercepted the intruder, whereupon he immediately fled.” Pol Capt Panuphan Choatsintu of Kamala Police Station said, “I’ve heard that some people have been asked to make a donation in the morning and then had their houses robbed the following day. “As far as I know, however, these thieves have not burgled a house in Kamala as yet,” he added. Any person who collects money by impersonating a member of a charity faces a maximum fine of 2,000 baht and must leave the village immediately [though, oddly, he or she may remain elsewhere in the district or province.] Chaichana Keawkaew, Chief of the Phuket branch of the national charity, the Kusornlatham Foundation, said that he calls the police when he hears reports of a Foundation car driving around town asking for money. “Most people know that the Foundation never asks for donations from people in their homes. If people want to make a donation, they can do it [at our office] in Phuket Town,” he added. Capt Panuphan offers the following advice: “If anyone comes to your home and asks for money, you have the right to say no. And if you notice anything unusual, call the police immediately.”

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