Russian tourist Angelina Belova, 28, reported to police at 7pm yesterday (Mar 11) that her bag had been stolen while she was swimming at Surin Beach, explained, Maj Sanhawit Sanitwong of the Cherng Talay Police.
Among the items in the bag stolen were an iPhone 8 Plus, a selfie stick, earphones, a power bank and her hotel room key, among other items with a reported total value of more than B70,000.
Maj Sanhawit led officers to start tracking the iPhone using the built-in app, which led them to the Family Mart store near Surin Beach.
“We went to the store but did not see any potential suspects, so we kept tracking the phone, which then led us along the road through the hills behind the Amanpuri resort. There we found the SIM card and Ms Belova’s sunglasses discarded on the ground,” Maj Sanhawit said.
Failing to find further evidence, the officers returned to the Family Mart to check store’s CCTV footage in the hope of identifying the thief.
“While the officers were there, the suspect walked in. Police saw that his face was the same as the one on the CCTV footage,” Maj Sanhawit said.
“Police questioned the man, and as they thought he was behaving suspiciously, they searched his bag and found the stolen items, including the iPhone,” he added.
The man, who was taken to Cherng Talay Police Station for a further two hours of questioning, was identified as Preecha Homsup 28, from Ubon Ratchathani.
Preecha admitted to taking the bag and to discarding the items by the road nearby.
“He said he just walked into the minimart to buy some things, and found himself standing in front of the police officers,” Maj Sanhawit said.
“Police found more ATM cards and other items believed to belong to other tourists in his bag,” he added.
Preecha was charged with theft, Maj Sanhawit confirmed.
“Cherng Talay Police Chief Col Serm Kwannimit urges tourists, and everyone else, to be careful with their belongings, and don’t leave valuables on the beach.” Maj Sanhawit added.