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Phuket City Police nab bike theft gang



PHUKET CITY: Phuket City Police arrested a gang of nine alleged teenage bike thieves this week.

The suspects, eight boys and one girl, confessed to theft charges. They are also believed to have been responsible for a number of crimes across Phuket, the police say.

The roundup of the gang members followed a series of arrests, some of which took place in front of the Sucha Building in tambon Wichit.

Nine stolen motorbikes, a backpack and other items were seized as evidence.

The suspects, ranging in age from 13 to 18, were paraded in front of Phuket City Police Station at a press conference led by Police Superintendent Wanchai Ekpornpit yesterday morning.

Eight of the suspects, being minors, were allowed to wear balaclavas to protect their identities.

Another suspect, 18-year-old Natthanon Chaitan, was not offered such protection.

The arrests followed a police complaint filed at 3:30am on May 6 by Rawai resident Phasin Soitong.

He was heading past Baan Nabon School on his motorbike when a group of youths on four motorcycles began following him, Mr Phasin said.

The youths surrounded him and one riding pillion snatched his rucksack. The gang then fled, he told police.

The report led to the arrest of one 16-year-old suspect.

Questioning of the youth enabled police to round up the other members of the gang, the last of which was arrested at around 10am yesterday.

A number of reports of robberies by gangs on motorcycles have been filed in the Rawai area in recent months, one reportedly involving the stabbing of a foreigner.


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