PHUKET: Police arrested a construction worker in Chalong on Tuesday after tracking a phone stolen during a bag-snatch in Patong.
The suspect confessed to conducting a series of bag-snatchings in Patong after losing his job due to his drug habit, police said.
Lt Col Somsak Thongglieng led fellow Patong Police officers to arrest Worakiet Sriwong, 32, originally from Mae Hong Son in Northern Thailand, at a workers camp in Chalong on Tuesday night.
“The suspect was caught after Yaowadee Engchuan, 25, reported her bag had been snatched,” Col Somsak said.
“The suspect did not sell the phone. He just changed the SIM card and used it. This allowed police to determine the location of the phone once it connected to the internet,” he added.
In making the arrest, police discovered many women’s handbags and ID cards among Mr Worakiet’s belongings.
“We also found two plastic bags containing ya ice
[crystal methamphetamine] in his pocket,” said Lt Col Somsak.
Mr Worakiet was charged with theft and possession of a Category 1 drug.
“He confessed to the charges and told police that he was addicted to drugs. The money he made as a construction foreman was not enough to buy drugs, so he started stealing women’s bags,” Col Somsak explained.
“The money he made from stealing, he spent on nightlife, bar girls and drugs,” he added.