Police arrest motorbike bag snatchers

PHUKET TOWN: Police arrested three teenagers yesterday after a motorcycle gang snatched a bag from a tourist as she walked along Thalang Rd on Sunday night. Ingrid Monica Green, 23, from Ireland, told Phuket Town police that she was walking with friends in the weekly “walking street” when three teenagers on a motorbike stopped nearby. One came over and tried to take her bag but she resisted. The young man then used a knife to slash the strap of her bag, and took off on the motorcycle. In the bag were 4,000 baht, the victim’s passport, her international driving license, a minidisk, a mobile phone and sunglasses. Miss Green noted the registration number of the motorbike and told police. As a result, three teenagers, Om, 19, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old were arrested yesterday. All three are Phuket natives and the youngest is still in school. Pol Maj Banchong Amarith, an inspector at Phuket Town Police Station, told the Gazette that the three teenagers were addicted to ya bah (methamphetamine). He said the three confessed and said the theft was their first; they needed the money, they explained, to buy ya bah. They had also bought a new mobile phone before throwing the bag away on Narisorn Rd, on the way to Khao Toh Sae. “When we arrested them, one of them was high on ya bah,” Pol Maj Banchong said. “I don’t believe that this is the first time they have robbed someone,” he added. Om was locked up in the Phuket Town Police Station, while the other two were placed in the custody of the Phuket Juvenile Court. Pol Col Paween Pongsirin, superintendent of Phuket Town Police Station, told the Gazette that parents should keep a close watch on their children because most people involved in drug-related crimes were under 20 years old.

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