A former security guard accused of smashing a showcase at a gold shop in Ayutthaya and fleeing with 20 baht weight of necklaces on Tuesday afternoon has been arrested in Sa Kaeo.
Police at a checkpoint on Highway 33 in Watthana Nakhon district of Sa Kaeo stopped the suspect's car a few kilometres outside the downtown area on Tuesday night.
The driver was Tharathep Jandaeng, 34, of Nakhon Sawan. A search uncovered 19 gold necklaces, each weighing one baht, hidden under the back passenger seat, Thai media reported.
Sa Kaeo police chief Pol Maj Gen Ntthapong Sattayanurak had earlier ordered road checkpoints to watch for and stop a Toyota Vios with Nakhon Sawan licence plates.
The vehicle was the getaway car of the man who robbed a gold shop at a shopping mall Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-in district earlier that day.
The athletic masked robber threw a stone that smashed an overhead showcase as he bounded up onto the shop counter, then grabbed the 20 necklaces inside the showcase and fled.
Under questioning, Mr Tharathep allegedly confessed. He said he had previously worked as a security guard, but lost his job because of the Covid-19 pandemic. With no income to pay the monthly instalments for his car, and other bills, he decided to rob the gold shop.
Mr Tharathep allegedly said he sold one of the 20 stolen necklaces to a gold shop in Nakhon Nayok province for 25,000 baht. He was heading to a relative’s house in Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo with the remaining 19 baht weight of stolen gold when he was caught.
Pol Maj Gen Ntthapong said the gold shop in Phra-in Racha area of Bang Pa-in district was robbed around 3pm on Tuesday.
Local police had coordinated with officers from Provincial Police Region 1 in tracking down the robber, who fled in a car along the Nakhon Nayok route towards Prachin Buri and Sa Kaeo provinces, the Sa Kaeo police chief said.
The smash-and-grab robber in action at a gold shop in a shopping mall in Ayutthaya on Tuesday afternoon. (Video taken from Nattawut Phungyat Facebook account)