Water meter thieves arrested

Two men have been arrested while stealing a water meter from a house in Bang Bon area of Bangkok, and police later found 570 stolen meters at their house.

  • Published: 21/02/2013 at 12:23 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

A Bang Bon police patrol came across Yutthachai Mingkwan, 30, as he tried to steal a water metre from in front of a house. He was arrested and his motorcycle and some gear seized.

He confessed to working with two other in stealing water meters in the Bang Bon, Nong Khaem, Phetkasem and Lak Song areas. All three live at a house in Nong Khaem district, according to a report in Khaosod.

Police then searched the house and found Sathit Namsakorn, 30, who was stripping down a meter to remove the brass for sale to recycling shops. At the back of the house, police found 570 broken water meters and a home-made stove used to burn the meters in order to get at the brass.

Police said Danai Phusri, 31, who is accused of being the gang leader and the house owner, fled before the police arrived.  

Mr Yutthachai said he was an employee of a company which carried out water pipe installations so he was skilled at removing a water meter in just a few minutes. They would later burn the stolen meters at the house to get the brass, which was sold at 138-140 baht/kg.

The thieves have to extract the brass because recycling shops will not buy the meter itself as they are afraid of being arrested and charged.

Supannee Karankittikun, director of Phasi Charoen Waterworks office, examined the stolen meters. She said there were many reports of meters being stolen in the area, usually on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights.

In January, a total of 337 water meters were reported stolen, and another 179 meters in the period Feb 1-19.

She said the cost of a meter is 1,500-2,000 baht, depending on the size, so the 570 meters  were worth around 1.2 million baht.  

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