Crop theft dispute escalates to shooting in quiet Phuket town

Picture courtesy of Thalang Police

A dispute over stolen crops escalated into a shooting incident in the quiet town of Thalang, Phuket. A 33 year old man, resorted to using his airgun, leading to the injury of a 24 year old man. The incident occurred in a private garden, where the suspect was known to scare off birds using his air-powered firearm.

Thalang Police were initially alerted of the shooting late Sunday night by Thalang Hospital, where Songkran Rawangpai was admitted with a gunshot wound on the back of his right arm. Investigations revealed that the shooting took place around 6pm on Sunday when Songkran was caught stealing crops from the garden belonging to Sitthiporn Chanapal’s father and uncle.

The situation spiralled out of control when Sitthiporn, frustrated with the repeated crop thefts and ensuing confrontations, fired his Black Panther EVO airgun, shooting Songkran in the arm, reported The Phuket News. Thalang Police detailed the situation.

“Sitthiporn confessed that on Sunday evening, around 6pm, he brought the airgun to the garden to deter birds from damaging the crops. At about 6.30pm, Songkran entered the garden and started stealing crops.

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“After several confrontations, Songkran returned to steal crops again. An argument ensued between Songkran and Sitthiporn’s uncle. Frustrated by the situation, Sitthiporn fired his firearm without aiming directly at the man.”

Upon Sitthiporn’s arrest at his residence in Srisoonthorn, the police seized his airgun and the matching ammunition. He has since been detained for further investigation and was charged with possessing a firearm without permission in the shooting of the crop thief.

Thalang Police are continuing their investigations into the matter.

At the same time, a confrontation in Trang between a palm plantation owner and an alleged thief ended in a fatal shooting. The owner, a 55 years old man, fired two rounds from his registered .357 revolver, shooting and killing a 42 years old man who he claimed was secretly stealing palm fruit crops from his plantation.

Resorting to gun violence seems to be on the rise in Thailand. Police are still on the hunt for a gunman who caused chaos two days ago, killing a man on the porch and injuring the two owners inside. The victim had a dispute with another local, which escalated into a physical assault with a wooden stick.

Following the altercation, he went to rest at the home of his relatives, where later he was shot multiple times in the stomach and body with a suspected 9mm firearm. The couple living inside sustained gunshot wounds as well, with the husband shot in the stomach and leg while his wife was shot in the leg and foot.

Crime NewsPhuket News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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