Snatch bandits rob, kill elderly woman in Phuket

WICHIT, PHUKET: In one of the most heinous crimes in Phuket in recent memory, Phuket City Police are searching for two motorcycle-borne snatch bandits who stabbed an elderly woman to death on Thursday afternoon and made off with her gold necklace.

Phuket City Police Inspector Wijak “The Magnet” Tarom told the Gazette the attack was reported to police at about 4pm on Thursday by a call on the emergency 191 hotline number.

Arriving at the scene with rescue workers from the Phuket Ruamjai Kupai Foundation, police led by Phuket City Police Superintendent Wanchai Ekpornpit found the body of 71-year-old Oranuch Thamrong lying face-up in the middle of soi 7 of the Jomthong Thani housing estate, off Kwang Rd in Tambon Wichit.

The elderly woman had died from blood loss caused by deep lacerations to her right arm and torso.

Lying on the ground about five meters away was the victim’s Honda Wave. Plastic bags carrying food had spilled out all over the road where the motorbike crashed and a trail of blood led from the motorbike to the victim’s body.

Next to the victim’s corpse were a mobile phone, wallet, pair of glasses and sandals that fell off during the attack and subsequent crash.

Crying hysterically by the victim’s body was her daughter Jurairat, who was inconsolable while police and rescue workers prepared the body for transport to Vachira Phuket Hospital for examination.

Stunned witnesses and neighbors told police that the victim was a highly-respected member of the community who always helped out and got along with neighbors.

The victim had gone out on her motorbike to buy food when she was set upon by two people on a blue Honda Click motorbike without a license plate. They followed her in from the entrance to the estate, they said.

The driver, who appeared to be a woman aged 25 to 30, was dressed in a cream-colored long-sleeved shirt, long pants and a green motorcycle helmet.

The passenger, who carried out the assault, was a bald man wearing a red, short-sleeved shirt and blue shorts. His age was estimated at 30 to 35 years.

According to witnesses, the pair followed the victim and tried to snatch her belongings.

When she resisted, they stabbed her in the arms and torso, causing her to crash. The bandits got off with the victim’s three-bahtweight (45 gram) gold necklace, but left her other valuables on the road by her body as they sped away, Lt Col Wijak said.

Police are conducting a thorough investigation, he said, adding that they have useful images of the bandits captured by a closed-circuit television camera at the entrance to the estate.

— Kamol Pirat

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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