Phuket police take down gang of shoplifting youngsters

PHUKET: Phuket police arrested a gang of seven, mostly teenagers, last night for shoplifting at several convenience stores in the Chalong and Rawai areas over the last month.

The group, which called themselves noo pee, or ghost rat, targeted four convenience stores: Big One Rawai branch, SuperCheap Rawai, SuperCheap Saiyuan and Tesco Lotus on Wiset Road in Rawai.

“The gang chose stores that were crowded so they could conceal what they were doing from the store staffers,” Phuket Provincial Police Commander Patchara Boonyasit explained at a press conference regarding the arrests this morning.

The suspects were named as Anusorn Seamsorn, 19; Thanongsak Kahapana, 19; Atthaphon Poesritom, 18; Natthaphon Lunkum, 18; Surasit Seamsorn, 20; Prakamas Narkpud, 19 and Anucha Hasub, 18.

“Several store thefts have been called in since October 13. It was first reported that a group of people stole items from the Big One store in Rawai, followed by a few more at nearby stores over the next few weeks,” Maj Gen Patchara explained.

Police discovered, after reviewing CCTV footage from the stores, that the same suspects were responsible for all of the robberies, Gen Patchara said.

Over the month, the suspects had stolen several cases of beer and cola, as well as various body care products, he added.

“Then, last night, Chalong Police were called by staff at the SuperCheap’s Saiyuan branch to report five suspicious teenagers who had been hanging around,” Gen Patchara said.

“Police went to investigate and identified them as five of the seven involved in the previous shop thefts.”

Mr Anusorn, Mr Anucha, Mr Thanongsak, Mr Atthaphon and Mr Natthaphon were arrested on the scene. Police then went to Mr Surasit and Ms Prakamas’s homes to arrest them.

“All seven have been charged with committing theft at night using motor vehicles,” Gen Patchara confirmed.

Six of the suspects have accepted the charges, but Ms Prakamas has denied them, he added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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