Health official stole cars because his tour business had failed
published : 15 Jan 2021 at 16:44
writer: 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.