Tardy cops spells death, ruthless Dad, gold thief's frolics

Police inspect the crime scene where Sunita was killed outside her family home.

Yet another drug call-out

Police are defending their response to a call-out in which a drug-crazed young man stabbed his own mother to death.

Sunita Malikee, 44, was killed outside her family home in Khura Buri district, Phangnga, on Jan 27. Police arrested her son, Nattaphon Jedaraman, 23, who admitted attacking his mother after she called officers to the house to subdue him.

Nattaphon Jedaraman

Nattaphon, whose drug habit over many years has led to psychiatric disorder, was afraid police would take him to rehab and attacked his mother in retaliation, his family says.

When he saw the policeman arrive he started crying, and asked his mother why she had called him. "Mum, why did you call the cops, I haven't done anything wrong!" he shouted, according to media reports.

The policeman tried to pacify him, as officers who had visited the house during previous drug-fuelled episodes had done, but to no avail.

Nattaphon, who disappeared inside the house for 10 minutes, emerged with a kitchen knife and started lunging at his mother. Sunita cried out for help and ran across the road, where she fell over. Nattaphon followed and stabbed her repeatedly until she lay still.

The killer's wife, Waew (assumed name), 20, who was present, admitted the events unfolded too quickly for her to respond. She still faults the police response, however, saying the Khura Buri station head should have known better than to send a single officer.

She said the officer also arrived too late, and should have shot her husband to stop the attack.

"The policeman did nothing to restrain Nattaphon when he arrived, and fired a couple of shots into the air as a warning after the attack started, but by that time he had already killed Sunita," she told reporters.

The family had asked police for help from 9.15pm the day before, but it wasn't until 4pm the next day that anyone arrived, she said. The delay stemmed from a tragic misunderstanding by the station head, Pol Col Anan Anutarawesarat, who confused their case with another.

He thought his police had already responded to the call-out and made an arrest, when in fact he was thinking about another incident that evening.

Waew said the family contacted police because they were worried for their safety. "He had not harmed anyone before but he could not be left unsupervised," she said.

CCTV from the scene shows the young man's elder sister, Thia, calling patrol police shortly after 4pm on Jan 27. The policeman who responded turned up at 4.18pm. The attack follows.

In the audio, the policeman can be heard calling out to Nattaphon, urging him to stop, followed by two shots from his gun. Waew, who ran down the soi seeking help from relatives, can be heard screaming.

At 4.29pm, CCTV shows Nattaphon walking slowly towards the mouth of the soi armed with a pair of scissors in his pocket. Locals and police finally subdued him.

Thia, his elder sister, said Nattaphon has been ill for four years as a result of his drug habit. "He sits in front of the house sharpening his scissors, and threatens our mother to get money. He walks up and down soi, alternately laughing and crying. He scares everyone who sees him," she said.

"My mother sent him for treatment, but Nattaphon refused to give up the drugs. On Jan 26 she quietly took away his scissors but he found out and threatened her. Mum told me she would like to send him to rehab permanently, so I called the police."

Pol Col Anan said when he realised he made the mistake, he responded quickly to get the help they needed. He said police cannot arbitrarily shoot to maim an attacker, as the bullet could fly off and hit the innocent.

On previous visits, police had managed to talk down the young man. "When I told the lad he had killed his mother, he burst into tears, blaming the drugs and saying he didn't know what he was doing," he said.

Nattaphon was charged with the intentional killing of his mother, and taking illicit drugs.

Dad puts up son to theft

Police in Buri Ram are looking for an errant father who used his teenage son to pass over fake 1,000 baht banknotes to local traders. He fled when an irate shopkeeper called him out, leaving his son to face the law alone.

Prasert points to Kor, wearing a blue mask, and shouts to the owner not to give him any change.

A shopkeeper in Lahan Sai district alerted police after a teenager entered her shop on Jan 27 and asked for a pack of cigarettes.

Bang-on Krongyut, 60, said the incident happened about 6pm as she was closing.

The teen handed over the 1,000 baht note and she gave him 930 baht change. She did think about checking the authenticity of the note but decided against it, as it could upset the customer.

Twenty minutes later, a local shopkeeper called to warn her that a teen, aided by his father in a white MV who would park outside while his son was buying goods, was going around shops in the area trying to pass off fake 1,000 baht notes.

Ms Bang-on said she inspected the note the teen had given her, and found it was indeed fake; the paper was much softer than that of standard legal tender.

Her husband, meanwhile, said he remembered the white MV, and hopped in his pickup truck to track the offenders down.

Prasert Langta, 46, said he found the vehicle parked outside another store down the road. "I parked in front of the vehicle and saw a teen inside. I walked in and shouted to the owner not to give him any change as it was a fake note. I also went in armed with a large knife," he told the media.

A CCTV camera inside the store caught the dramatic scenes, as the teen meekly said, "I am not about to flee anywhere."

Mr Prasert called police, as the boy's father, who realised what was going on, fled in the vehicle and left his son to face the music alone.

When the boy, Kor, originally from Ubon Ratchathani, called his father later, he said: "Don't go telling my relatives what happened." After that Kor could not contact his Dad again.

Kor, who identified his Dad as Thanapat "Amnat" Thongpiam, 33, said he and a relative were heading to Bangkok for work and his father offered to drive him.

"My Dad would say, 'Go in and buy some items for me', and hand me a 1,000 baht note," Kor told police.

"I bought a pack of cigarettes, and gave the change to my father, who would stop at another shop along the way and ask the same thing again."

The pair had visited 10 stores that evening before being caught out. Lahan Sai police are looking for the thief.

Ex-guard carves out career as thief

A former security guard who snatched a gold bracelet from an Ubon Ratchathani goldshop was caught in a nearby soi, having failed to arrange a proper getaway for himself.

Wanchai 'Aun' Thongrang, nabbed in a nearby soi.

Warin Chamrap police caught Wanchai "Aun" Thongrang, 29, half-walking, half-running down a soi about 200m away from the scene of the crime.

Yaowarat goldshop in Sathonlamak Road said the thief snatched a gold bracelet worth five baht in gold weight, or 150,000 baht.

Owner Jidanun Amornkul, 45, said he walked in as she serving other customers at the time.

"I handed him the bracelet he wanted to see, and he grabbed it and fled from the shop. Everyone was shocked. We gave chase but were not fast enough so I called the police, who caught him very quickly," she said.

Police surrounded soi Ruamchai nearby where they caught the lanky suspect, who is about 180cm tall. They found the bracelet in his pocket.

He admitted stealing the item, saying he was inspired by similar robberies on TV and at the movies.

The thief, who has a history of such offences, manages to find work as a security guard despite his record. Wanchai, aged 19, was a security guard at a housing village in Nonthaburi when he was caught for a snatch and grab robbery in 2012.

After being freed from jail he worked as a security guard in his home province of Ubon Ratchathani, where he was caught for another snatch and grab in Warin Chamrap district in 2019.

He was sent to jail for two years and eight months. Wanchai said he had been unable to find work for the past 12 months and was hooked on drugs.

He felt stressed, so decided to rob Ms Jidanun's goldshop. He did not plan it, and took two speed pills beforehand. Police charged him with robbery and taking illicit drugs.

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