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Pickpocket Arrested in Pattaya

Pickpocket Arrested in Pattaya

During the lively Songkran festivities on Walking Street, tourist police made a significant arrest, nabbing a Thai woman accused of preying on foreign tourists.

In the early hours of April 19th, 2024, at 2:46 AM, officers from the Pattaya Tourist Police apprehended Ms. Sumalee Kima-rae, a 59-year-old native of Phetchaboon province. The arrest came after a Chinese tourist couple positively identified her as the culprit.

According to Pol Lt Col Piyapong Ensan, Inspector of the Pattaya Tourist Police, the suspect was caught red-handed by the vigilant couple. They noticed a suspicious movement behind them while enjoying the festivities and soon discovered their backpack had been slashed and its contents pilfered. Without delay, they detained the suspect and brought her to the nearby Tourist Police stationed along Walking Street.

During questioning, Ms. Sumalee admitted to the theft and even demonstrated her modus operandi to the authorities. She confessed to being part of a four-person gang specializing in such crimes, with each member assigned specific roles. Typically, one member would distract the victim while another used a razor blade to slice open the bag, enabling a third person to snatch the valuables. The loot would then be divided among the gang.

However, this time, the victims caught one of the perpetrators in the act, resulting in Ms. Sumalee’s arrest while the others escaped. She admitted to being the alleged leader of the gang and disclosed their pattern of targeting tourists, particularly during festive occasions.

Pol Lt Col Piyapong disclosed that Ms. Sumalee had a lengthy criminal history, with over seven previous pickpocketing convictions. Despite serving sentences in the past, she persisted in her criminal activities.

The Pattaya police are currently scouring nearby surveillance footage to identify and apprehend the remaining suspects. Pol Lt Col Piyapong cautioned tourists, especially during Songkran and other festivals in Thailand, to remain vigilant and avoid carrying backpacks or bags in vulnerable positions, as these are prime targets for pickpockets.

Credit TPN

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