Brave soldier killed during gold robbery

A veteran soldier who tried to stop a robbery at a gold shop in Phuket on Sunday evening was shot dead by the thief, who fled with jewellery valued at 2.32 million baht, reports said.

Apichet Choo-kliang, 32, was browsing the showcases at CP Gold Master & Jewellery store with his fiance, discussing the bridal payment for their wedding, when the robber entered the shop.

Images from security cameras show the thief arrived on a motorbike and entered the store around 6pm. He was dressed in black, wore a face mask and a motorcycle helmet and carried a black backpack.

According to Phuket News, a witness said one of the staff saw the man had a gun and alerted the people in the shop.

"The man warned everyone in the shop not to move, otherwise he would shoot," said a witness, "And then he walked behind the counter and started taking the gold." 

While the robber was putting gold jewellery in his bag, Apichet, a veteran soldier, approached him and tried to stop him. He was shot in his left chest and fell to the ground. Apichet later succumbed to his wound at the Siriroj Phuket Hospital, the report said.

Police officers from 10 police stations in Phuket met on Sunday night to discuss the case.

Pol Maj Gen Choti Chavaviwat, Phuket police chief, said the thief was the same man who robbed a bank at a shopping mall in Phuket in January. The man is still in the area, he said.

All escape routes out of the province had been blocked - whether by sea, air or land, he added. 

The owner of the gold store has offered a 200,000 baht reward for the killer's capture.

Related search: crime, robbery, holdup, gold, Phuket, soldier

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