Man with hammer robs gold shop, caught soon after

Man with hammer robs gold shop, caught soon after

Sitthichok Khongthong, 30, seated and handcuffed, at Muang police station in Chayaphum after his arrest for robbing a gold shopon Tuesday. (Photo: Makkawan Wannakul)
Sitthichok Khongthong, 30, seated and handcuffed, at Muang police station in Chayaphum after his arrest for robbing a gold shopon Tuesday. (Photo: Makkawan Wannakul)

CHAIYAPHUM: A man armed with a hammer robbed a gold shop in Muang district of necklaces worth nearly one million baht on Tuesday evening, and the prime suspect was arrested at his house a few hours later

Sitthichok Khongthong, 30, of tambon Banlao in Muang district, was apprehended around 10pm.

The robbery at the Yaowarat Krungthep gold shop at Big C shopping mall in Muang district occurred around 6.30pm on Tuesday, Pol Capt Watcharin Huchaiyaphum, deputy investigation chief, said on Wednesday.

Employees of the gold shop were in panic when police arrived, he said.

The holdup was filmed by security cameras. The recordings showed a man wearing grey shorts, an orange T-shirt and blue jacket walking towards the gold shop.

The man took a hammer from his shoulder bag and threatened the women employees. 

The women went into a panic. The man climbed over the counter and grabbed handfuls of necklaces from the display shelf and then fled. The robbery took less than 5 minutes.

One of the employees, Ms Rujida, told police the man, who was wearing slippers, threatened them with the hammer and told them it was a robbery. He stole 49 gold necklaces weighing about 33 baht and worth 988,250 baht. He fled to a parking area.

Mr Sakarn, another employee, ran outsie and saw the robber leaving on a motorcycle with an unclear licence plate. He immediately called police.

Police examined security camera recordings and tracked the suspect to a house in tambon Banlao in Muang district, where Mr Sitthichok was arrested.

The motorcycle believed used for the robbery was impounded and all the stolen gold necklaces were found in a shoulder bag. The suspect was taken to Muang police station.

During questioning, he allegedly told police he was a paddy field labourer and had no money to buy the drugs he craved, so he robbed the store. 

Police charged him with theft and using a weapon to commit robbery. He was being taken to find the hammer he allegedly used for the robbery, and for a crime re-enactment, on Wednesday.

The stolen gold necklaces found in a black shoulder bag at the suspect's house in Chaiyaphum on Tuesday night. (Photo: Makkawan Wannakul)

A still from security camera footage shows the robber walking into the Big C superstore towards Yaowarat Krungthep gold shop.



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