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Thieving teens victimize blind masseuse in Phuket City



PHUKET CITY: Two teenagers ran off with a blind masseuse’s handbag on Friday night as she was sitting in front of the small massage parlor where she works in Phuket City.

Kainapa Jeenapueng, who operates the six-bed Nong Neuy traditional Thai massage parlor in Phuket Villa 1, said the thieves struck at 7.40pm.

The victim, 43-year-old Wilawan Maikhong, was sitting on a concrete bench outside the massage parlor with friends when a man ran past and grabbed her handbag.

Inside the handbag were two mobile phones, a mobile phone charger and Ms Wilawan’s room key.

Fortunately, her money was safely inside the shop.

A witness from across the street said the thief was a skinny teenager dressed in a red shirt and shorts.

After stealing the handbag, he ran a short distance to where another teenager was waiting on a motorcycle.

The pair sped off toward Yaowarat Road.

Ms Kainapa, who immediately reported the incident to the Phuket City Police, said it was the first time snatch-and-run thieves had hit the massage parlor, which currently employs seven blind or visually impaired staff.

But a motorcycle had been stolen and a telephone booth in front of the parlor had been vandalized several times in the past.

The Nong Neuy shop is named after a three-year-old girl who lives there and helps the blind masseuses in a variety of ways, such as by organizing their shoes and finding things for them.

It is one of five massage parlors in Phuket Villa 1 which employ blind people.

— Stephen Fein


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