Trio held for stealing, pawning rental cars

Trio held for stealing, pawning rental cars

PHUKET: Three people preying on car rental operators have been arrested in Phuket and Trang for selling 40 rented vehicles.

A man and two women had been wanted on arrest warrants issued by the Phuket provincial court for colluding in theft, said police during a media conference yesterday. The suspects were identified as Methawee Thamchantha, Chanida Ratchasaeng and Kamolwan Thamchantha.

The arrests were made following a complaint made by nine victims on Aug 26, that a gang of thieves had rented cars from them and proceeded to sell or pawn the vehicles in Trang, Phatthalung and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces, said Pol Col Prawit Engchuan, Phuket police investigation chief.

Police began the investigation and found that Mr Methawee, his girlfriend Ms Chanida and his elder sister Ms Kamolwan were members of the gang. The court later approved the arrests. Mr Methawee and Ms Chanida were apprehended in Huai Yot district of Trang on Wednesday, while Ms Kamolwan was caught in Phuket on Thursday.

Pol Col Prawit said the suspects had rented about 40 cars from the victims, then sold the vehicles at lower prices, causing about 40 million baht in damage. Police have so far seized 23 of the vehicles that were resold or pawned by the gang. Each vehicle was worth about 1 million baht.

The police investigation chief said the gang used the money from the illegal sales of the cars to pay rental fees to the car rental operators in a bid to gain the operators' trust, thus allowing them to rent more vehicles.

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