Heinous crimes that shocked us in 2020

Heinous crimes that shocked us in 2020

As the year nears its end, we look back at five tragic and mysterious crime stories that both captivated and appalled the nation during the year

Prasittichai Khaokaew, 38, front centre, arrives at the Criminal Court on Aug 27 for sentencing after being convicted for murder and robbery at a gold shop in Lop Buri province on Jan 9. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Prasittichai Khaokaew, 38, front centre, arrives at the Criminal Court on Aug 27 for sentencing after being convicted for murder and robbery at a gold shop in Lop Buri province on Jan 9. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Lop Buri gold shop slayings

One of the most disturbing crimes occurred back in January when a lone gunman killed three people, including a two-year-old boy, during a gold shop robbery at the Robinson shopping mall in Lop Buri's Muang district on the evening of Jan 9.

Surveillance camera footage showed the robber, armed with a gun fitted with a silencer, shooting two of the victims before walking up to the counter.

The two-year-old boy was walking past the shop with his mother when he was shot. The gunman then shot dead a security guard as he left the mall. Four people were also wounded.

Thirteen days later, police arrested Prasittichai "Golf" Khaokaew, 38, the director of a primary school in Sing Buri.

He had made off with 33 gold necklaces worth about 672,000 baht and some of the loot was found hidden in the roof of the carport at his father's house.

Prasittichai initially said that he had only robbed the gold shop for the thrill of doing it but he later admitted his real motive had been financial problems.

He was found to owe more than two million baht to teachers' cooperatives and Krungthai Bank.

In August this year, the Criminal Court found him guilty on all counts and sentenced him to death, with a fine of 1,000 baht. The court also ordered him to compensate all the victims' families with amounts of 90,000-2.2 million baht, with interest at 7.5% per year.

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