Pattaya Daily News

15 January 2011 :: 14:01:09 pm 49007

Russian couple relieved of bag

A Russian tourist couple were enjoying having their portrait drawn by a local sketch artist on Beach Road, Pattaya when a brazen thief took the opportunity to steal their bag.
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13th January 2011 [Pattaya Daily News]: At approx. 2.00pm Police Lieutenant Suphalerk Yupai, Pattaya Police Station, was notified of a robbery involving tourists. The incident occurred opposite Pattaya Soi 13, Beach Road (Tanon Liab Chai Haat), Moo 10 Nongbrue, Banglamung, Chonburi. Police officials responded to the location immediately.

At the scene police officers met the victims of the theft, Mr. Mussania Igonenigowa, 22, and his wife Mrs. Gajia Igonenigowa, 22. The Russian tourists explained, with the help of a Russian translator, that they had been walking along Beach Road when they came across a Thai street artist who had set up a table and chairs in order to draw portraits of tourists in exchange for money. They decided to employ his services and were shown into the seats provided. The Russian couple placed their bag on the floor next to them. After about 5 minutes Mrs Igonenigowa’s noticed her bag had been removed. They immediately informed the Thai artist, Mr. Chanakit Yotingtien, 42, from 13 Moo 7 Baanlao, Banfang, Khon Kaen, to help look for the bag. When he was unable to locate the bag they accused him of involvement in the robbery, as he was sitting opposite them when the snatch occurred. Mrs Igonenigowa’s stolen blue bag contained many valuable items, including 2 tourist guide books, 3,000 THB, hotel keys to the Golden Beach Hotel (room no. 1022), a Kodak camera, and a Samsung mobile phone.

When police questioned the artist, Mr.Chanakit, he denied any involvement, stating that he was unaware of much of what was going on around him since he was busy concentrating on drawing the portrait. He therefore did not witness the bag theft. He was however aware that there were a large number of both tourists and Thais around the area where he was working and thus would have been ample opportunity for a brazen thief.

While the police were questioning the Russian couple another man came to notify them that a robbery had just occurred involving his bag, containing 10,000 THB. The bag had been stolen while he was sitting on the beach, close to the location of the Russian couple’s bag snatch. Police officers then divided up into groups in an attempt to locate the offender(s) and identify any witnesses from around the immediate area. But it was soon apparent that nobody was prepared to give any information, claiming that they hadn’t seen anything. The police believe that the offender(s) belong to a group of teenage gangsters that frequent the beach area, which is why nobody was willing to give any information, out of fear of being targeted for intimidation by the gang. Beach Road is an area notorious for robberies involving tourists, which is why the police believe that this latest incident was carried out by the same gang. They will be hard to catch since intimidation of locals from gang members has led to a fear of retaliatory attacks if they cooperate with the police.

Nevertheless the police asked all 3 victims to accompany them to the police station to formally record their incident as evidence. The police also took the Thai artist, Mr.Chanakit, for further questioning as they believe that he knows more than he is presently saying, however he remains uncooperative. The police will conduct further investigation into this case in order to apprehend the group of teenagers and hopefully prevent further such robberies

Reporter : Kampee   Photo : Kampee   Category : Crime News

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