Robbery ring rounded up

PATONG: Kathu Police yesterday arrested six men for a string of robberies in this popular beach town.

Kathu Police Inspector Lt Col Chalermchai Hernsawas and a squad of fellow officers made the initial arrest about 5 pm.

The case started when 25-year-old Saiyon Jantorn reported seeing a man sitting atop her red-and-black JRD motorcycle, which was parked near Laem Petch Temple opposite Loma Park, he told the Gazette.

K. Saiyon had reported the motorcycle stolen on March 31, he said.

“We moved quickly and arrested Chokchai ‘Choke’ Janpairoj, 22, from Rayong. During questioning, he admitted that he and his friends had stolen the motorcycle,” Lt Col Chalermchai said.

“We then raided his rented room near Soi Kathu Waterfall, where we arrested his roommate Kanoknan “Nok” Sawangwong, 25, from Phuket.

In their room police found a blue-and-white purse that still contained the ID card of its owner: Kanchana Yodsakul, 32.

K. Kanchana earlier reported the purse stolen from under her locked motorbike seat. She told Kathu Police she had left it there when she went swimming at Patong Beach, he said.

“We also seized as evidence a DVD player, six mobile phones, a gray-red Honda Wave motorcycle and receipts from a pawnshop for pawned gold necklaces. We took both men back to the police station for further questioning. Last night we were able to arrest their four friends at the football field,” he said.

All confessed to committing several robberies and turning over the stolen goods to Choke, who would sell them and divide the proceeds among them, he added.

Lt Col Chalermchai identified three of the other suspects as: Wassana “Eak” Buathong, 24, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat; Virachai “Lek” Choomjud, 26, also from Nakhon Sri Thammarat; and Boonyarit “Rid” Srisuwan, 29, from Patthalung. The fourth was identified only as as “Wanchai”, from Nakhon Sawan.

“All of them are being held at Kathu Police Station. They have been charged with gang robbery and theft. We are continuing our investigation to determine whether they can be charged with other offenses,” he said.

Phuket News
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