We often think the Thai police force suck at their job (but are productive when it comes to gimmicky initiatives such as Ja Choey 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0), but we guess sometimes it doesn't matter because criminals aren't such smart cookies themselves. (That's probably why they chose a life of crime in the first place.) To give police some slack, we've found incidents that show how hilariously some stupid criminals got nabbed by the authorities for your entertainment. Don't do illegal things and/or be this stupid, kids.
WE SELL DRUGS, Y'ALL!
The bad guys: Four men who sold narcotics from a house they shared in Nakhon Nayok. While yaba-offender arrests are a dime-a-dozen, their story takes the crazy cake.
How they got caught: Daily News reported in September that four men were arrested for selling narcotics out of their house. They must have been really high on their own wares when they thought it was a good idea to advertise their illicit business by putting up a placard. No, they didn't carefully word the message into some sort of code. They just simply put up the message loud and clear.
It said, "Marijuana. Yaba. Ya Ice. We have them all! Wanna get high? Call xxx-xxx-xxxx (Sanook) and xxx-xxx-xxxx (Pee)". Genius.
So the police gave them a call and later caught the gang along with some 2,000 pills of yaba and other drugs. The one who came up with the stupid sign idea is an 18-year-old member of the gang. He said, "We put the sign up so it would be convenient for our business. We weren't scared [of being caught] because we thought the police wouldn't take it seriously. The most dangerous thing can also be the safest thing, you know."
We think he should have been put in jail just for saying something as stupid as that.
Fried fish can incriminate a thief
The bad guy: Sathit Nganlamyuang is an experienced robber. He rented a room in one place for a while to rob from his neighbours then moved on to another place to continue the stealing spree. He spent his tainted money on treating girls at karaoke bars and nighttime establishments. Things went well for Sathit until the day he laid his eyes on a shiny come-eat-me pla too (a type of mackerel many Thais grew up on).
How he got caught: Srisuphan Sopha came home to a ransacked room. She realised many belongings were stolen and alerted the police who quickly arrived at the scene. Among the usual stuff on a thief's wish list - TV, stereo, computer - she told the boys in khaki that two fried pla too had also been taken. She probably didn't realise at the time that her stolen fish was the most prized possession of all since they led to her other stolen belongings.
According to a Kom Chad Luek report in February last year, while the police were examining the scene, they got a whiff of the unique smell of said fried fish coming from a room next to hers. They went into the adjoining room where Sathit was caught eating the fish red-handed. They didn't conclude he was the robber until they saw tools needed for breaking in. Sathit said he was hungry so he took the fish with him, not knowing that the fish would nail him like it did.
While Srisuphan got her stuff back, Sathit probably lost his appetite for pla too forever.
There is a 0.0001 per cent chance that our machine can nab an exhausted burglar by rendering him sleepy
The bad guy: Pornthep was incarcerated in a jail in Ayutthaya before he moved to Chaing Mai and began committing many burglaries there. The serial pilferer made a huge mistake when he turned on an air-conditioner.
How he got caught: Pornthep decided to steal from a gold shop he had successfully stolen from earlier, not knowing this would be his last burglary. He had already hit it before so why couldn't he do it again, right? Moreover, he already knew that nobody stayed at the shop during weekends so he would be able to get in and out with the gold scot-free.
Probably feeling tired after cutting the bars over the back door of the shop to get in, he laid his eyes on a gleaming white air-conditioner and the idea of a cold breeze suddenly became irresistible to him. He turned it on and slept, thinking a cat nap couldn't hurt since he could get out of the shop on Sunday.
Unfortunately, the shop owner came to the shop to get food he forgot the next day and saw the sleeping burglar on the floor. Had Pornthep not pressed his luck, he could have gotten away with it.
Keb Tok Nation news programme reported that by the time Pornthep awoke, the police already had arrived, ready to arrest him. He offered a wai, asking for forgiveness, and confessed to his crime. Alas, no dice.
MIGHTY MINOR MISTAKE
Yaba can make you crazily stupid
The bad guy: When it's your job to deliver something valuable (and illegal) to someone, it only makes sense that you give it to the right person (or accomplice), right? But Phisanu Phimondamrongkiat accidentally handed himself to the police because he delivered yaba directly to them.
How he got caught: Our cousin publication, M2F, reported in April that Phisanu was hired to unload a stash of yaba worth B20 million onto a pickup parked in a market in Mae Sai. There, he stopped his Honda motorcycle and unloaded the drugs onto a black pickup that he believed to be of his accomplice. His only mistake was that the said truck actually belonged to a police officer.
The said officer, who was on leave and in plain clothes, walked to Phisanu and asked what he put into his truck. Phisanu said he just dropped off the drugs as agreed and told the officer to forward it to another dealer immediately. The officer revealed himself as police and arrested him.
THE THREE MEATHEADS
Thieves should also be afraid of feisty grandmas
The bad guys: Three men - Panomporn Kuenphon, Panompetch Kuenphon and Amnuay Popsila - pulled off many successful burglaries. They hoarded their stolen stuff in a room they shared in Yannawa district of Bangkok and sold it for cash.
How they got caught: According to a Daily News report in Feb 2011, the police went to their room after a neighbour reported a noisy quarrel. There, they found Panompetch sitting in front of the room, looking dazed as if he was on something. The guy told the police to come to him and told them that he had just fought with his older brother Panomporn over their share of stuff they had stolen.
The police went into their room and found Panomporn and Amnuay who both also looked equally dazed along with random possessions such as a big picture frame, giant wall mirror, air purifier and tools needs for breaking into someone else's house.
Panompetch added that he went out of the room after having a fight with his brother. When he saw the police, he thought his brother had called the police to have them arrested. And the police did arrest them all.
This is the correct way to read a Thai newspaper
The bad guys: Sakthichai Jitrakarn and Sirichai Saetao are of Hmong ethicity. They were hired to transport B15 million worth of yaba in a pick-up truck. The truck was tricked out so it could conceal the drug stash. However, a cute mistake exposed them all.
How they got caught: They were stopped at a checkpoint in Chiang Mai. The police searched their truck but didn't find any traces of drugs. However, as the police were about to tell them to go on, they noticed something funny.
They were reading newspapers. Now, there's nothing amusing about Hmong people being able to read Thai but the drug duo was holding their papers upside down.
Taking this as a sign of newbie drug smugglers being anxious and trying to hide their guilty conscience, the police called up a mechanic to take their truck apart. They eventually found the hidden stash.
Had they acted calm and collected, they would probably have been able to deliver the package to a buyer in Pathum Thani.
NO GOOD DEEDS GO UNPUNISHED
Should drawing an angry face on a ballot be a crime?
The bad guys: Say, if you know you've committed a serious crime but the police haven't gotten to you yet, you probably would lay low and only go out of your hideout to visit the nearest 7-Eleven, right? However, apparently, for 240 crime suspects across the country, the guilt of not casting their vote at the last general election on July 3, 2011 outweighed their possible actual jail time.
How they got caught: The police wisely used the election as an opportunity to nab these suspects. When these suspects, whom courts had issued arrest warrants against, showed up at their election centres to cast their votes, the police just simply walked up to them and arrested them.
Among the suspects nabbed this way was Mana Yokrungreung who was wanted for reckless driving that damaged state property. Some of the crime suspects, however, ran away when they saw the police.
One that got away was Amnat Ritthikrai. Matichon reported that he was wanted for glue-sniffing and property damage. He outran the police but took his ballot card with him. He threw it away about 1km away from an election centre in Ayutthaya. Another arrest warrant was issued against him for violating the election law because you aren't supposed to take the ballot card out of the election centre with you. Smart move.G
About the author
- Writer: Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
Position: Guru Reporter