Sleeping train passengers robbed

Sleeping train passengers robbed

Nine sleeping passengers on a Sungai-Kolok-bound train woke up groggy Tuesday morning to find their mobile phones had been stolen.

Police at the Hat Yai train station were called to investigate when passengers in the second-class sleeping car reported the robbery and a suspicion they'd somehow been knocked out.

Passengers wait at Hua Lam Phong station in Bangkok to get on Sungai-Kolok-bound train. (Bangkok Post file photo)

There were about 30 passengers in the car and nine lost a total of 10 mobile phones and 2,500 baht of cash. In some cases, the thief took out the phone's Sim card and stole chargers and extra batteries, according to Pol Capt Panomnoi Thipline, the Hai Yai deputy chief.

One passenger, who also is a patrol soldier in Narathiwat, said he was the first one who discovered the robbery. He suspects it was done after 3am when he and other passengers had went to sleep. However, he thinks he and others somehow were put into an unusually deep sleep.

The soldier said he usually wakes many times while sleeping on trains, due to the rocking motion. Monday night, he fell into a deep sleep and did not awaken until 6am. Others reported feeling fuzzy-headed when they awoke from similarly deep snoozes.

Thanongsak Phongprasert, traffic manager for the State Railway of Thailand, said the SRT is cooperating with railway police by forwarding names of employees and passengers in the sleeping car, along with identification-card numbers.

Police also plan to question all staff on the train and review security-camera footage at stations.

Railway police commander Pol Maj Gen Thanang Buranont said there was no charges yet had been filed against anyone as investigators needed more time.

However, he insisted that two police officers on duty aboard the train patrolled cars properly when the train stopped at stations. They also closed the doors on sleeping cars at 10pm, as scheduled, for security reason. They reported no one entering the sleeping cars afterward, so more investigation is needed, he said.

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