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Phuket

Police urge gold shops to tighten security

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Police urge gold shops to tighten security | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Phuket police have requested local gold shops tighten security and limit their trading hours to help police better patrol the shops. The call follows a reported spike in the number of gold shop robberies nationwide.

Police met more than 50 local gold shop owners at Phuket City Police Station yesterday to discuss the request along with other possible ways of preventing robberies and catching robbers when they strike.

“We request that every owner set the store hours from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday because Phuket has a limited number of police officers of which about 80% of them have been commanded to closely watch gold shops. It’s hard work for them as they have many other daily duties. I want to ask you to help them,” Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Decha Budnampetch said.

“Every shop should have a warning sticker reading ‘Please, take off your helmet, sunglasses and jacket before coming in’ posted clearly on the glass door.

“Usually, thieves like to rob small, dimly-lit shops so I am not as worried about big gold shops. I want you to install a panic button that you can press during a robbery to warn others. These should not set off an alarm in your shop as this could provoke the robber, but it should be audible outside the shop for your neighbors to hear the warning so they can alert the police,” Gen Decha said, though he made no call for panic buttons linked directly to the police stations.

Some of the gold shop owners asked for police to train them in the use of firearms to protect themselves during a robbery. Gen Decha replied that he did not think this would be a good idea.

Despite the reported rise in the number of robberies, there has been only one case reported in Phuket in 2007 when a lone armed robber made off with about 1.2 million baht worth of gold from Thongroj gold shop on Chao Fa East Rd in January.

Pairat Thongroj, the owner of the Thongroj, complained about the slow response time of the police. He said that before his store was robbed his neighbor called the emergency police phone line to report someone suspicious outside, but it took two to three calls before police responded.

Lt Col Sompong Boonrat, a Deputy Superintendent at Phuket City Police Station, explained, “We must check the information first before ordering officers to proceed to the scene. Now, I have introduced a new process for responding to calls. When we receive a call we will put it over the police radio at the same time so available officers can get the information and respond quickly.”

After the meeting, gold shop owners visited the CCTV surveillance room which receives pictures from 16 cameras strategically positioned around Phuket City.

Despite the police efforts, K. Pairat said that he still feels security is the responsibility of the owners, “In my opinion how long owners keep their shops open for should be up to them.

“At my shop I have added a 24-hour security system that will automatically alert an external monitoring center when anything untoward happens in the shop. I am also getting a steel bar door put in behind the old glass door that I can open and close to screen customers who come in. These will make my shop safer,” he explained.

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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