Ayutthaya police pressured to catch tourist's assailant

Ayutthaya police pressured to catch tourist's assailant

A plainclothes policeman talks to tourists at Ayutthaya Historical Park as safety measures are stepped following the assault and robbery of a German visitor. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)
A plainclothes policeman talks to tourists at Ayutthaya Historical Park as safety measures are stepped following the assault and robbery of a German visitor. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)

AYUTTHAYA - Police in the old capital are stepping up the hunt for the man who attacked a German tourist at a world heritage site, and improving safety measures, under pressure from the government and Royal Thai Police Office.

Ayutthaya police commander Sutthi Puangpikul said on Friday the government and his bosses in  Pathumwan, Bangkok, had ordered the province to quickly find and arrest the robber.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, attacked and robbed Friede Hartwig in Bueng Phra Ram public park inside the Unesco world heritage site on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old German was only slightly injured but the government and the police generals at Bangkok headquarters saw the case as damaging for tourism in general, not just Ayutthaya, after it was reported by the media.

It was the second attack on a tourist at the popular historical park this year.

Pol Maj Gen Sutthi said all police stations in the province have been directed to check up on all men in their area with a record of robbery to hopefully narrow down the list of possible suspects.

Investigators in Ayutthaya believed the offender could be the same man who made a snatch and run robbery in Sena district hours later. The description given by the victim in Sena was similar to that given by the foreign tourist robbed at the park.

The province on Friday also launched a safety campaign at the heritage site, bringing in extra police from  other areas of the province, soldiers and volunteers for the operation.

The historical park will have more frequent patrols and additional security cameras installed, along with  improved lighting, Ayutthaya governor Prayoon Rattanasenee said.


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