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Deserter nabbed for gold robbery

A navy deserter has been arrested for robbing a gold shop at the Big C superstore, Khlong Hae branch, in Hat Yai district and making off with 1.1 million baht worth of gold necklaces on Saturday, police said.

The suspect was identified as Pvt Ukrit Thongsomsri, 24, a draftee attached to a security unit at the Songkhla naval base who was found to have deserted from military service.

Pvt Ukrit was arrested on Sunday at house No 237 at Moo 5 village in tambon Khuan Lang, Hat Yai district.

He allegedly confessed to the robbery and led police to the place he had buried a strap bag containing the stolen gold necklaces in the back garden of the house.

Pvt Ukrit was initially reported to have stolen 14 gold necklaces from the gold shop, but only 10 were found in the bag. Police were looking for the other four.

Authorities also seized a Toyota Camry used in the robbery from a house in tambon Thung Tam Sao and recovered military camouflage trousers from one side of the Sanam Bin-Ban Klang road in tambon Thung Liap. Pvt Ukrit was wearing the trousers during the robbery, and then took them off and threw them out of the car while escaping.

Pol Lt Gen Ronnasilp Phusara, commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 9, was to hold a press conference to provide further details about the case.

A background check revealed that Pvt Ukrit had deserted from the military service in March. Vice Admiral Samroeng Chanso, commander of the Second Naval Area, asked police to file an additional charge of desertion.

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Pvt Ukrit Thongsomsri (third left) take police to the location behind his house in Hat Yai ditrict of Songkhla where he buried a bag containing stolen gold necklaces. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)

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