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Pattaya Daily News

05 February 2013 :: 16:02:08 pm 71551

Finlander Pickpocked By Walking Street Vendor

A 32-year-old flower vendor was arrested on Walking Street after undercover officers saw him pickpocketing an elderly Finnish tourist. Police also detained the vendor’s wife and two teens with the suspect. The vendor previously served time in prison for pickpocketing.
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PATTAYA – February 4, 2013 [Pattaya Daily News]; the arrests of a flower vendor, along with his wife and two teens, for the pickpocketing of a tourist at 5 a.m. on Walking Street was announced by Pol. Col. Prapoj Chottikhun, Superintendent; Pol. Lt. Col. Aroon Phromphan, Inspector; Pol. Lt. Col. Wicharn Jansri, Inspector; Pol. Lt. Suthee Theerasawat, Deputy Inspector; the detective police team and Pattaya tourism police.

The suspects were identified as Mr. Charng Chomphoo, age 32, from Tambon Na Kleu, Amphur Banglamung; and his wife, Ms. Matthana Boonpheng, age 24. Also detained were a 12-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl who were with the couple when the crime took place.

Police seized the evidence of 780 THB cash and 9 different brands of mobile phones. The pickpocketing victim was identified as Mr. Timo Antero Virkkala, age 67, from Finland.

Pol. Col. Prapoj revealed that at 5 a.m. that morning, several plainclothes tourism police were patrolling on Walking Street. They observed Mr. Charng, the flower vendor, walk up to Mr. Timo and start a conversation. Something about Mr. Charng’s behavior and appearance seemed suspicious, so the police observed him discretely.

The officers saw Mr. Charng suddenly pickpocket the pants of Mr. Timo, taking 780 THB cash from the elderly Finn. Mr. Timo was not aware that he had been pickpocketed. The police arrested Mr. Charng and restrained Ms. Matthana, along with the teen boy and girl standing with the couple, to bring to the police station to investigate.

During questioning by police, Mr. Charng confessed to pickpocketing Mr. Timo. He also admitted that in 2001, he had been convicted for pickpocketing, and served two years in jail for the crime. However, when he was released from jail, he went to apply for jobs, but no one hired him.

So he and his wife started to sell birds and flowers in Walking Street. The couple would pickpocket tourists for additional revenue, which Mr. Charng claimed he was forced to do, because he needed the money to feed his 4-month-old baby daughter. The police initially didn’t believe Mr. Charng, after a further background check revealed that Mr. Charng had been involved in similar incidents not less than 20 times.

After his thefts, Mr. Charng would divide the cash with his subordinates. He sold the stolen cellphones to a pawn shop in Na Kleu. Police will follow up to check if the pawn shop has been accepting stolen goods.

Other victims who think they were pickpocketed by Mr. Charng are invited to come to the police station to identify the suspect, so more theft charges can be filed.

Reporter : Tanasab   Photo : Tanasab   Category : Crime News

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