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Armed robber with fake gun bags B600,000

Heavily indebted suspect in Chon Buri bank heist caught hours later in Chai Nat

A man who presented a threatening note to a staffer at a Bangkok Bank branch in Chon Buri and fled with 600,000 baht on Friday afternoon was caught a few hours later in Chai Nat.

The suspect later told investigators that he had more than 3 million baht in credit-card debt, police said.

Suriya Takona, 31, of Phan Thong district in Chon Buri, was caught boarding an interprovincial bus on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai route in Manorom district of Chai Nat at 10pm on Friday.

The arrest was made following the robbery at the Ban Kao branch of Bangkok Bank in Phan Thong district of Chon Buri on Friday afternoon, police said on Saturday.

They said a man, wearing a black cap and a face mask, entered the bank at 2.27pm. He acted normally like other customers.

When it was his turn to be served, the man presented a passbook and a threatening note to a female staffer: “Don’t talk to anyone.

There is a gun in my bag. Act normally and hand me 4 million baht. If you talk, people will get killed here and you will be the first. Put the money on the table.”

The fearful teller took 600,000 baht in cash from a drawer and handed it to the robber, who put in his shoulder bag and fled on a motorcycle.

After being alerted, investigators from Provincial Police Region 2 and Chon Buri police began checking security video that shed light on the suspect.ad

When police caught up with the suspect later that night, they seized 595,000 baht and a fake gun from him and charged him with theft.

According to a police investigation, Suriya worked at a factory at an industrial estate in Muang district of Chon Buri.

CCTV showed him boarding a passenger van to Bangkok after the robbery and then taking a bus at the Mor Chit terminal in Bangkok to head to Chiang Mai.

The police team tracked the suspect and managed to arrest him on board a Bangkok-Chiang Mai bus in front of a petrol station in Manorom district of Chai Nat on Friday night.

Police said Suriya admitted to having robbed the bank. He told police he used a fake gun and later threw it at a garbage bin at the Mor Chit terminal.

During questioning, he said he had a huge debt from credit cards amounting to over 3 million baht. His house, a vehicle and a paddy field were mortgaged.

He told investigators he had plotted the robbery on Nov 10 and surveyed the area around the bank before carrying out his plan. 

Suriya Takona,31, wearing a yellow T-shirt, is arrested in Chai Nat with 595,000 baht in stolen money seized after the robbery of a Bangkok Bank branch in Phan Thong district of Chon Buri on Friday afternoon. (Photo supplied: Wassayos Ngamkham)

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