Ranong police are launching a manhunt for a Chumphon man who allegedly robbed four vehicles on Monday and fatally shot the owner of the fourth vehicle.
Police said Chamnong Sanohseng died on his way to hospital. His pickup truck was stolen from his home and car-repair garage in Ban Rawi village in Tambon Bang Phra Nua in Ranong’s La-oon district on Monday night.
The suspect was identified as Pornchai Maikong, a resident of Ban Thap Khom village in Tambon Paksong of Pato district in Chumphon, a neighbouring province of Ranong.
Police allege an hours-long series of robberies throughout the afternoon after Pornchai drove his Toyota pickup truck for repairs at Lim Charoenyon garage in Ranon’s Muang district.
With motives unknown, Pornchai took a repaired Toyota pickup whose key was left in its socket, and drove to Ban Rawi village.
Police said Pornchai then hid the pickup inside a deserted house and stole a motorcycle belonging to a Myanmar migrant and drove around Ban Rawi village until he encountered Prateep Chumanee, chief of Tambon Bang Phra Nua.
Prateep recognised the motorcycle as belonging to the Myanmar migrant, who was familiar to him, so he called for Pornchai to stop.
While Prateep was taking photos of Pornchai with his mobile phone, the suspect pulled out his pistol and fired once at the tambon chief, but the chief jumped back to avoid the hit.
Police said Pornchai then fled on the tambon chief’s motorbike and drove about one kilometre before spotting Chamnon’s pickup truck parked on the road in front of his garage.
Finding a key left inside the pickup, Pornchai started the engine before Chamnong ran to check. Pornchai shot him once in the chest before driving off.
Ranong residents have posted the story on their Facebook walls, warning other to beware the “crazed” man and urging them to alert police if they spotted him.