Phuket snatch banditry on the rise

PHUKET: Phuket City Police are urging women to be extra cautious when walking along the street as attacks by young snatch bandits are increasing – and proving hard to catch.

Duty Officer Capt Kittiphum Tinthalang told the Phuket Gazette today that bag snatching attacks are becoming more common.

“Nowadays, we get reports of bag snatching all the time,” he said.

The culprits are also hard to track down, he added.

“Descriptions of the attackers are often scarce in detail because the attacks usually happen so quickly,” Capt Kittiphum said.

Even getting the license plate number of the motorbike the bandits are riding might be of no use.

“Often victims – through fright – get the license plate wrong and we apprehend the wrong people and have to let them go, or the bike is not registered to any of the people who perpetrated the crime,” Capt Kittiphum said.

Once youngsters get away with bag snatching, they are likely to do it again, he added.

Today’s warning follows a woman having her bag ripped from her grasp right in front of Wat Thepnimit on Chao Fa East Rd, literally next door to the Wichit Municipality head office.

In the bag was more than 20,000 baht, the woman told the Gazette today.

The attack occurred at about 7:30pm as the woman, who asked for her name not to be published, was walking from her parked car on Chao Fa East Road to the main entrance to the temple, on her way to the temple fair.

“I was walking alone along the side of the road when a motorbike with two young men on it suddenly came from behind. One of the men grabbed my bag and they sped off,” she said.

“I ran after them down the middle of the road and I yelled for help, but it seemed no one heard me and the men disappeared into the traffic.”

She was holding onto the bag handles so tightly that they ripped off the bag as the men sped off, she said.

“As they rode off I was still holding the bag handles in my hand,” she said.

“More than 20,000 baht in the bag was supposed to be transferred to my friend via the bank at Tesco just down the road. So now I have to give that money back to my friend,” she added.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News

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