PATTAYA – September 13, 2012 [PDN]: at 11 p.m., a report of a purse snatching at the Bali Hai area was received by Pol. Maj. Gen. Kowit Sawatmongkok, the suppression inspector, of Pattaya police station, Chonburi.
He rushed with a police team to check the scene, located just before the bridge of the tour boat parking lot in Bali Hai, Pattaya moo 10, Tambon Nong Prue, Banglamoong, Chonburi.
Waiting for the police was the shaken victim and her two friends. She was identified as Ms. Pannaida Ketrasit, age 24, living at 9894 moo 7, Thung Saliam, Sukhothai province.
Ms. Pannaida was still in shock as she described the incident to police. She said they were riding a motorcycle to the beach in Bali Hai to go walking. When they approached the bridge, two teenage boys following them rode up alongside, and one of them snatched her purse. Her purse handle was torn as the criminal yanked it from her.
The teen thieves then accelerated their motorbike down Bali Hai beach road and turned up Phra Tamnak hill. Ms. Pannaida yelled for her friend to stop the motorcycle. They informed a police volunteer standing nearby and asked for help.
The volunteer then called for police officers to find and intercept the thieves. Shortly after, the police volunteers spotted the thieves as they were speeding down the hill and turning into Soi Tappraya 15. The police volunteers chased and caught up to them at the area near Krua Ja Toi restaurant, where they arrested them.
The stolen purse had contained only 200 baht, an ID card and some cosmetics, because Ms. Pannaida had left her valuable property with her friends before she went out that night.
After they got arrested, the two teens said that they took the 200 baht cash and threw the purse away on the hill. The police brought the thieves to Pattaya police station to show to the victim to identify.
The teen suspect were identified as “Mr. Ath” (alias), and “Mr.Fluke” (alias), both 16 years old. They both attend a well-known technic institute in Pattaya. They confessed that Mr. Fluke was the driver and Mr. Ath was the snatcher who took Ms. Pannaida’s purse.
The serial thieves further confessed to snatching victims’ purses six times previously. They had stolen the purses from both Thais and tourists, for money to go out at night, they said. Police initially charged the two teens with “together snatching other peoples’ assets by riding or driving vehicles.”
A press conference was held at the police station to announce the arrest, by Pol. Col. Thammanoon Mankong, the director of Muang Pattaya police station Chonburi; Pol. Lt. Col. Kiattisak Srathong-Oi; Pol. Maj. Col. Kowit Sawatongkok, inspector of the suppression division; and police volunteers who had chased and caught the teenagers.
Pol. Col. Thammanoon Mankong said that police were now more strict in the prevention and suppression to arrest criminals who are opportunists in every way, such as the arrested school kids.
The police have been meeting and cooperating with every sector to look after areas to prevent crimes, and he was sure that crimes will decrease and Pattaya will be more safe for people and their property, as police follow the policy aimed at making Pattaya a safe place for tourists.
The teens were detained for further questioning to expand the case. The police commander said that anyone who had been victimized by these two could come to see them at Muang Pattaya police station to file charges.
Moreover, Pol. Col. Thammanoon Mankong, the director of Muang Pattaya police station Chonburi, also hailed the performance of police volunteers who helped the police officers arrest the criminals, and gave them a cash prize to reward their good performance.