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PHUKET: A nine-member gang was arrested with 500kg of stolen copper cables and cutting tools at a construction site in Phuket this morning.

The suspects included three minors, while the rest ranged in age from 28 to 46. The leader of the gang was named by police as Suriya Talad, 28, chief of the construction site in Pa Khlok where the suspects were apprehended.

“Last week, we received reports from Issarane Wangsukkasem of TOT Public Company Limited about several cable thefts by a local gang. Since then, we have been on the lookout for them and were finally able to catch them,” said Col Akanit Danpitaksat of the Phuket Provincial Police.

Officers caught the suspects on CCTV footage, which also showed them escaping into the construction site where Mr Suirya worked.

“Mr Suriya told us that he was hired by a construction company to install cables at the site. Thus, he knew exactly which ones had good value for resale. He told us that they chose the unused ones, burned their sheaths to extract the copper wires inside, and sold them for 150 baht per kg,” said Col Akanit.

The policeman added that the gang had also hit several other areas in Phuket, including Cherng Talay and Phuket Town, as well as some parts of Phang Nga.

Police also took into custody two vehicles which the suspects used to transport the stolen cables.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong