Man charged with Tesco midnight robberies

TAH CHAT CHAI: Stepped-up security at the Tah Chat Chai police checkpoint has resulted in the arrest of a man wanted for stealing merchandise valued at more than 100,000 baht from the Tesco-Lotus store on the bypass road.

At a press conference led by Phuket Provincial Police Commander Apirak Hongthong on Friday, the suspect was identified as Manorom Aksorniem, from Phattalung.

Manorom was found in possession of three mobile phones in his black shoulder bag when police at the Tah Chat Chai checkpoint inspected his Honda Click motorcycle about 11:30 am on Thursday. Manorom was northbound, heading off the island.

The inspection followed a report by Lt Col Wichak Tarom of the Phuket City Police that someone had stolen 10 mobile phones from Tesco-Lotus sometime between the store’s 9:30 pm closing on October 14 and its reopening the following day at 9 am.

Manorom, 25, was handed over to Phuket City Police for further investigation, which led to the recovery of six more mobile phones and pawnshop receipts for three wristwatches.

During questioning, the suspect confessed that all of the items were stolen from Tesco-Lotus, where he had formerly been employed as an electrical cable installer, police said.

He said he had stolen the items because he was desperate to pay back money he had borrowed from a loan shark, police added.

Manorom allegedly entered the store’s bathroom, where he pretended to be an attendant. Then, around closing time, he climbed up though the gypsum ceiling tiles in the bathroom and waited, police said.

After the store closed, he used ropes to descend into the retail area, where he stole mobile phones and watches, then returned to a point above the bathroom ceiling and waited until the store reopened the following morning, when he made his escape, police said.

He confessed that he had committed a similar theft on the night of June 4, police added.

Maj Gen Apirak said the arrest was another success for his “Thao Thep” strategy, which was launched a month ago after control of the checkpoint was reassigned to Phuket Provincial Police from Region 8 police.

Fifteen illegal firearms had been confiscated as a result, along with a large amount of illegal drugs and other contraband, it was announced.

Phuket News

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