Phuket Police crack motorbike theft gang

PHUKET: Phuket City Police on Sunday night arrested a member of a local motorbike theft gang.

Phuket City Police on September 15 received a report from local resident Nawapon Khanom that his Yamaha Fino motorbike was stolen at 3am that day.

Discovering a vehicle with no license plate parked in front of an apartment block in Rassada at 9:30pm on Sunday, police, led by Investigations Inspector Wijak “The Magnet” Tarom, took the vehicle’s young male rider to Phuket City Police Station for questioning.

The suspect, 20-year-old Athapol “Ping” Saikaew, was unable to produce any ownership documents.

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Under questioning he confessed the vehicle was stolen by a friend he identified only as “Boy”, who let him use it.

In an effort to trick both police and the true owner, he removed the license plate and repainted the bike from its original red to a combination of green and pink, he said.

But rather than fool authorities, the absence of the license plate alerted police to its presence when it was parked in front of the SJ Mansion apartment block in Rassada, Village 6.

Under questioning, Mr Athapol also confessed that he and another friend named “Tum” in mid-September stole a black Yamaha Mio motorbike from in front of the Siri Phuket Hotel on Yaowarat Road in Phuket Town, near the Timber Hut nightclub.

The pair then disassembled the vehicle at his home in Wichit and sold the parts to a local scrap dealer and motorcycle repair shop.

Mr Athapol accepted the charges of both theft and receiving stolen goods.

Police are now seeking to track down and arrest his accomplices.

There are typically about five to ten motorbikes stolen on the island monthly, but the figures can grow quickly grow if motorbike theft gangs are allowed to flourish.

In August this year there were seven reports of stolen motorbikes, but only one arrest.

Phuket News
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