BANGLAMUNG – September 19, 2012 [PDN]; at 11 a.m., the arrests of three bicycle thieves was announced by Pol. Col. Somchai Soonthavanick, Superintendent, Huay Yai police station, Amphur Banglamung, Chonburi province; and Pol. Lt. Col. Paksuwat Chomthanom, inspector; and the detective police team.
Many Thai and foreign victims who had been assaulted and robbed of their bicycles pointed the thieves out to arrest. The group of grateful victims later gave flowers and money to police to thank them.
The three suspects were identified as Mr. Duangmanee or “ghost Ae” Nilboot, age 38, address 96/173 Moo 1 Tambon Muang, Amphur Muang, Chonburi province;
Mr. Rapeepat or Bird Phantha, age 25, address 98 Moo 14 Tambon Rangbua, Amphur Jombeung, Ratchaburi province;
and Mr. Somdech or Ton Seubyubol, age 22, address 71 Moo 10 Tambon Nong Preu, Amphur Banglamung, Chonburi province.
Police seized the evidence of three stolen bicycles, spare parts, and many bicycle frames. Police also seized two motorcycles used to commit their crimes: a black Honda Wave I, license number JOR JOR YOR 768 Chonburi; and a pink Yamaha Feno motorbike with no license plate.
During questioning, Mr. Duangmanee or “ghost Ae” Nilboot confessed that he works as a motorbike driver-for-hire in Pattaya. He described his method of stealing bicycles.
First, Mr. Duangmanee had bought a bicycle to ride, and then asked to join the group of Pattaya bicycle riders. He would then observe who was riding the most expensive bicycle. When the owner of the expensive bicycle would ride outside the town into deserted areas, Mr. ghost Ae would order Mr. Rapeepat and Mr. Somdech to follow the victim on motorbikes.
The two henchmen would use a stick of wood or an iron bar to hit the victim until he got injured, and then would steal his bicycle and other property before escaping.
The thieves would then sell the whole bicycle or its spare parts. The thieves would use the money to buy ya-ice to consume. The three suspects admitted to previously robbing people of their bicyles four times, and they had sold two stolen bicycles for 9,000 THB.
Pol. Col. Somchai revealed that police began tracking the robbers after a lot of victims reported being beaten and robbed of their bicycles by the gang of Mr. ghost Ae.
He then commanded Pol. Lt. Col. Paksuwat Chomthanom to track down the bike-theft gang, until he arrested Mr. ghost Ae at Baan Amphur. Further investigation led to the arrests of Mr. Rapeepat and Mr. Somdech at a Pattaya house.
Police interrogation of the suspects revealed that that the gang would ask to join with a group of bicycle riders in Pattaya, and then choose a target victim with an expensive bicycle worth more than 100,000 THB. When the owner of bicycle rode into areas with few people around, the thieves would follow on a motorbike, and use a stick to club the victim and steal his bike.
A police check of their criminal history found that all of them had been prosecuted and imprisoned many times for stealing property and using drugs. Mr. Somdech also has a warrant out for his arrest for stealing a motorbike near the Banglamung police station.
After initial investigations, police charged the trio with beating victims and stealing property, and sent them to the investigation officer to prosecute according to the law.