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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