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Phuket tourists finger American snatch thief



PHUKET: An American man was arrested last night after allegedly committing a string of snatch thefts in popular tourist beach areas on Phuket’s west coast.

Jake Bordes, 27, was stopped by police and charged with robbery after two tourists reported being robbed in separate incidents while walking in Karon.

A Chalong Police report states that “Ritua Walli” was robbed at about 9pm in front of the At Phone Shop on Ket Kwan Road in Kata, and “Amande Jo Reed” was robbed near Wat Karon about 30 minutes later.

Both victims reported the incidents to Chalong Police, stating that the suspect was riding a motorbike as he snatched their bags. They identified the thief as a “Westerner” wearing a yellow t-shirt and jeans.

At about 10pm, Chalong Police Officer Boonlue Samngamya spotted Bordes, who matched the victims’ description, riding a Honda motorbike near the Phuket Island View Hotel on the beach road in Karon.

Sen Sgt Maj Boonlue said that Bordes “looked suspicious”, so he stopped him and had him taken to Chalong Police Station for questioning.

Police found a Nokia mobile phone, an Olympus camera and a black wallet under Bordes’ motorbike seat, all of which Ms Reed identified as possessions stolen from her earlier in the evening.

She also identified Bordes as the snatch thief.

Police also found in the motorbike 13,760 baht, 200 Australian dollars, a clothing bag, an Acer notebook computer, an iPad and a knife.

Police are holding the money and goods in the hope of finding the owners, and retaining the knife as evidence.

Much like a gypsy thief working the streets of Rome, Bordes allegedly used the knife to cut the bag strap while robbing one of his victims.

In addition to the two women robbed last night, a Russian woman – who asked not to be identified – went to Chalong Police Station after receiving a call from officers and identified Bordes as the man who stole her bag in August.

“That man took my bag with my mobile phone and hotel keys in it, among other things,” she told the Phuket Gazette.

“He was driving a motorbike along the road where we were walking and grabbed the bag I was carrying, and quickly drove away,” she said.

Bordes has denied the charges of committing ‘robbery at nighttime while using a motorbike’, police said.

He is currently being held at Chalong Police Station.

— Atchaa Khamlo & Warisa Temram


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