Region 8 police join manhunt for gold store thief

PHUKET: Police in Region 8 have now joined in the investigation and manhunt of the wanted thief for the vicious attack on a 71-year-old owner of a gold store in Phuket Town on Saturday evening (October 24).

Police officers from Region 8 at the northern end of the island, led by the Deputy Commander of Region 8 Police, Police Major General Wanchai Ekkapornphit, joined efforts to catch the assailant. , with Lt. Col. Somporn Boonma, Deputy Chief of Investigation of Region 8 Police leading the actual investigation.

It should be noted that the Region 8 Police are responsible for overseeing Provincial Police operations in the seven southern provinces of Thailand, including Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Surat Thani (including Koh Samui) and Chumphon.

The manhunt was launched after Wangdee Inthawong, 71, owner of a gold store, was repeatedly hit on the head by a piece of wood at his home in Phuket Town on Saturday evening. last (October 23).

Police were informed of the attack around 11:30 p.m.

The attack happened at the Thong Thaweechai gold store on Ranong Rd in Phuket Town, where husband and wife store owners Mr. Wangdee and his wife, Puangpen Sakkasemkrit, 65, lived upstairs. .

When police arrived at the scene late last Saturday night, blood spilled on the floor in the main room of the house, where Mr. Wangdee had fought his attacker.

The couple were sleeping in the second floor bedroom when they were awakened by the thief, who threatened them and told the husband to open the downstairs safe, he said.

The thief entered the house by climbing on the roof of the house and through the ceiling of the bathroom on the second floor.

Threatened by the stranger standing in his room, Mr. Wangdee refused to open the safe. A fight ensued and continued into the next room, where the thief repeatedly beat Mr. Wangdee with a piece of wood. Mr. Wangdee suffered several head injuries during the attack.

After being badly beaten and fearing that his wife would also be beaten, Mr. Wangdee finally gave in and gave the key to the safe to the thief, who went down and stole many gold items from the safe. . The thief fled through the store’s second-floor side door, police confirmed.

Police also confirmed that the thief fled with gold items worth over 8 million baht.

Mr. Wangdee told police he believed the thief was a Myanmar man because he listened to his accent when he spoke.

Fortunately, Mr. Wangdee escaped serious injuries in the attack. He received first aid on-site from rescuers and was then rushed to hospital for further treatment.

After police and rescuers attended the scene late last Saturday night, investigators arrived last Sunday afternoon (October 24) to inspect the area behind the gold store and verify CCTV footage of the area. . The Gold Store is located near the bustling market area on Ranong Rd, just west of Suriyadej Circle.

Investigators reported that the thief fled from the gold store through a side door and escaped by passing an abandoned building with overgrown vegetation behind the gold store.

Officers found a red mask in the tall grass, which they took for further investigation.

From the CCTV footage inside the gold store, officers noted that the thief was wearing black Aerosoft-branded shoes, costing around B300.

The thief is also seen carrying the piece of wood and wielding a large knife, which was not used in the fight with Mr. Wangdee.

However, the police have yet to reveal any substantial leads to catch the thief. The investigation and the manhunt continue.

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