Thief who robbed tourists for over 10 years caught

Tourists take photos of the famous Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Tourists take photos of the famous Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

A 55-year-old thief who targeted tourists has been arrested after operating for over 10 years.

Police arrested a woman identified only as Pornthip at a condominium building on Pradipat Soi 23 in Phaya Thai district of Bangkok.

On March 25 a South Korean tourist told police she had stolen his bag while he was taking photographs at Wat Pho.

Pornthip is believed to have stolen the bag, which was hanging from a baby carriage. Security video showed a woman matching her description committing the crime.

A search of her home found the clothes she was wearing in the video, along with bags belonging to two other victims.

The woman confessed to the crimes, telling officers she began stealing in 2010 and regularly targeted foreign tourists at temples, parks and department stores. She would wait until the travellers were taking photos and not paying attention to their belongings.

She also admitted to pawning the stolen goods, saying she was saving up to open a coffee shop.

Police said Pornthip had been arrested 11 times previously in and around Bangkok, including once for narcotics possession. She was released from imprisonment for that charge in March this year.

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Vocabulary

  • belongings: the things you own - ข้าวของเครื่องใช้
  • carriage: a road vehicle, usually with four wheels, that is pulled by one or more horses and was used in the past to carry people - รถม้า
  • confess (verb): to admit that you have committed a crime - สารภาพผิด
  • description (noun): the act of writing or saying in words what somebody/something is like - รูปพรรณ, ลักษณะ, รูปร่าง
  • identified (verb): named, searched for a discovered - ระบุ
  • imprisonment: the punishment of being put in prison - การจำคุก
  • narcotics: illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine or crystal methamphetamine - ยาเสพย์ติด
  • pawn (verb): to leave an object with a pawn shop in exchange for money. The object is returned to the owner if he or she pays back the money within an agreed period of time. If not, it can be sold. - จำนำ
  • possession: having or owning something - การครอบครอง
  • rob: to take money or property illegally from a person or place, often using threats or violence - ปล้น, ปล้นจี้
  • steal: to take something from a person, shop/store, etc. without permission and without intending to return it or pay for it - ขโมย
  • stolen (verb): (past participle of steal) illegally taken from someone/somewhere - กริยาช่องที่ 3 ของ steal ถูกขโมย, โจรกรรม
  • thief: someone who steals something. An instance of stealing something is called a theft - ขโมย
  • victims : people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc. - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย

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