Health official stole cars because his tour business had failed

Health official stole cars because his tour business had failed

Roengrit Jarukasem, 45, a C-7 official at Don Mod Daeng district public health office in Ubon Ratchathani province, is taken from a stolen pickup truck on Thursday evening. He was charged with the theft of three vehicles. (Capture from clip supplied via Dusit Singkhiri)
Roengrit Jarukasem, 45, a C-7 official at Don Mod Daeng district public health office in Ubon Ratchathani province, is taken from a stolen pickup truck on Thursday evening. He was charged with the theft of three vehicles. (Capture from clip supplied via Dusit Singkhiri)

UBON RATCHATHANI: A public health official arrested for car theft told police his sideline tour business had suffered huge losses since the Covid-19 outbreak and he was deeply in debt.

So he decided to steal cars and sell them.

Roengrit Jarukasem, 45, a C-7 official at Don Mod Daeng district public health office, was apprehended while driving a stolen vehicle to pick up members of his family in downtown Muang district on Thursday evening.

A police team led by Pol Col Thanaphant Padungkarn, chief of Muang police, took the suspect in for questioning about a series of car thefts.

He is accused of stealing three vehicles, one pickup truck and two vans, from second-hand  car tents.

Mr Roengrit confessed, police said. He told them he ran a tour van service on the side,  taking tourists to Laos.  

Over the last year, with the onset of Covid-19, the business had run at a big loss, resulting in all his vans being seized by his creditors. He had to sell his other assets to repay the money he had borrowed to set up the business, Mr Roengrit said.

He decided stealing cars would be a good way to help himself out, and targetted second-hand car dealers in this northeastern province.

The first vehicle he stole was four-door Isuzu pickup, from Tumyont car tent on the evening of Nov 19. He put fake Bangkok licence plates on it, and then decided to keep it for his own use.

On Dec 17, he stole a Toyota Commuter van, priced at 700,000 baht, from Toyota Sure car tent, and sold it for 100,000 baht.

And on Jan 9, he stole another Toyota Commuter van from Kancharoenyont car tent.

The car dealers complained and police began an investigation, leading to Mr Roengrit's  apprehension. All three stolen vehicles were retrieved.

The suspect was held in police custody for legal action.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (20)

Prayut not ruling out big cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday did not rule out the possibility of a major cabinet reshuffle after three cabinet ministers were sent to jail and lost their posts as a result.

07:11

Further charges

The Department of Corrections petitioned police to investigate posts deemed offensive on the Facebook pages of two lese majeste suspects already behind bars.

06:25

Facebook restores news for Australian users after media bargaining deal

SYDNEY - Facebook on Friday restored access to news for its Australian users after reaching agreement with the government on a landmark law requiring it and other tech firms to pay for journalistic content.

05:45