Plea to help Phuket Town’s glue sniffer do no more harm


PHUKET: A resident of Phuket Town has called on authorities to take action against a man who lives on the streets as a vagrant, stealing items from shopkeepers at night and sniffing glue in broad daylight.

Police failed to take action against the man despite repeated complaints, and welfare officers briefed on the man’s behavior did nothing, said Sophon Kongdaeng, the 33-year-old owner of an auto parts store on Sri Suthat Rd on the east side. from Phuket Town.

Mr Sophon posted his appeal on Facebook today (31 March), saying that after his repeated attempts to get the authorities to intervene and provide help, it was the police themselves who told him to appeal to journalists.

The man in question was reported last year as 20-year-old “Bank”. He was taken into custody after local residents and shopkeepers complained about his behavior, walking around only in shorts and continually asking people for money. He was generally successful because he has a disabled left arm.

The behavior that led him to merit police intervention last year was licking his hand and wiping it on a pharmacy doorknob at the height of the COVID-19 scare pandemic .

His latest antics were also caught on CCTV. This time, he entered a building where Mr. Sophon keeps, among other things, spare parts and searched them. He threw all the irrelevant objects on the ground, leaving some of them broken.

A previous episode where Bank was caught on CCTV breaking into a store at a drug store, again smashing in irrelevant items, saw him taken away for “rehabilitation”, Mr Sophon said.

Bank is believed to have been under the influence of drug addiction at the time he committed both acts.

As it emerged last year, Bank is technically not a vagabond, as he is recorded as living with his grandmother in the Saphan Ruam community in Phuket Town.

“Officials took him to therapy for a while, about three to four months, but after that he was released to cause trouble for local residents as before,” Mr Sophon said.

After another recent incident with Bank seen on the street indulging in what looked like drug addiction, and yet another building a local resident entered and items smashed, Mr Sophon filed another complaint with police from Phuket Town on Tuesday (March 29).

“Police have come to inspect the scene, but there has still been no progress,” Mr Sophon said.

“So I filed a complaint with social welfare officers and a narcotics officer, and appealed to government agencies to do something, but nothing has been done yet.

“Everything is still the same today, so I decided to ask the media to urge the authorities to prevent further incidents,” he said.

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