PHUKET: Police have surrounded a disused fish processing plant on the east side of Phuket Town this afternoon in the hope of capturing two men who shot a gold shop owner with an air pistol before making off with an estimated 3 million baht in jewelry.
Shopowner Sirinan Sirikolworakul, 64, was alone at the shop when the robbery occurred and told police that the crime was carried out by two men.
The pair arrived at the gold shop on a Phuket-registered red and white Honda Wave.
On entering the establishment, one of the men shot Ms Sirinan three times in the chest with an air pistol while the other proceeded to smash the glass counters containing the jewelry with a hammer.
Ms Sirinan was not injured by the air-gun pellets.
From blood found on the broken glass, police believe that one of the men cut himself as he was grabbing handfuls of gold necklaces and bracelets from the smashed display counters.
Having taken what they could, the pair fled with their haul on the motorbike.
Police responding to the robbery discovered the abandoned Honda Wave less than a kilometer from the scene at the empty Sri Paiboon Chai fish processing plant at Koh Sireh.
Around the motorbike were some of the stolen jewelry items dropped by the thieves. Police also recovered a weapon and clothing, thought to have been used in the robbery, in a nearby restroom.
A wig believed to belong to one of the robbers was found along their escape route by a member of the public and handed in to police.
Believing that the thieves are still in the area police have surrounded the defunct fish plant in the hope of catching them.
Phuket City Police Capt Thada Sodarak, who is leading the operation, told reporters that the Yong Chuan gold shop was the scene of an attempted robbery last month when two individuals were scared off by members of the public before they could mount the robbery.
It is not known whether or not the perpetrators of today’s robbery were the same men who failed to rob the gold shop in August.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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