Karon Police, led by Maj Pitchayut Srinak, arrested a 42-year-old Thai man at his house in Rassada and charged him with the theft. The man was not named in the police report.
According to the report, 39-year-old American James Anthony Melwesti filed a complaint at Karon Police Station on July 5 claiming around B18,000 in cash was missing from his villa at Baan St Tropez in Soi Patak 10.
After checking CCTV footage, police discovered that a man had trespassed into the villa at about 2:45am. Around 15 minutes later he was seen leaving the scene on his motorbike.
After checking further CCTV footage along the route that the man had used to flee, police were able to identify him and track him down to his residence at Soi King Kaew 1/1 in Rassada.
Police also confirmed the man’s clothes and motorbike discovered at the residence matched what was evident in the CCTV footage.
The man was taken to Karon Police Station and charged with theft and using a vehicle to flee.
The stolen money was not retrieved by police as the thief claimed he had already used it to settled outstanding debts. He added he is currently unemployed and struggling for money.
Police were unable to confirm whether Mr Melwesti is a Phuket-based resident or visiting as a tourist.