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Phuket Town snatch thief caught within two hours

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PHUKET: Police arrested a man who caused a woman to crash her motorbike after he ripped a gold necklace off her neck on the outskirts of Phuket Town yesterday.

Pongchai Wongwan, 29, was caught walking around Koh Sireh, on the east side of Phuket Town, after selling the necklace to a gold shop for 16,200 baht.

Police caught up with Mr Pongchai just two hours after the theft by identifying him and his motorbike from witness statements, as well as a statement from the victim – Jantra Jiamnansil, 53.

Ms Jantra, who suffered extensive scratches and bruises in the fall, was rushed to Mission Hospital by a passing motorist after crashing her motorbike during the snatch-and-run in front of Phuket Thani housing estate on Sakdidet Soi 1 at about 10am.

“Police went to see Ms Jantra at the hospital and contacted the witness who reported the crime to us,” Phuket City Police Superintendent Sermphan Sirikong told the Phuket Gazette.

After bringing Mr Pongchai in for questioning, and confronting him with the witness statements and CCTV footage of him selling the necklace, he confessed to the crime, Col Sermphan said.

“He said that he needed the money for his monthly motorbike payment and to pay his rent, and that he had spent only 60 baht for gas before being arrested,” said Col Sermphan.

Officers also escorted Mr Pongchai to his rented room in Rassada to search for more stolen property, but the search revealed nothing.

Mr Pongchai was charged with theft and using a vehicle to flee the scene of a crime

The necklace was recovered from the shop and returned to Ms Jantra.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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