Capt Peerawat Yodtor of the Kathu Police explained that he received a call from the Kathu rescue centre of the Kusoldharm Foundation at around 4am, informing that a man had stolen an ambulance from their rescue center located in front of Kathu Municipality office.
Rescue worker Phannakorn Pongpao, who was at the rescue center when the ambulance was stolen, explained that he normally leaves the key in the ignition of the ambulance so it is ready for use at any time.
A young man was seen walking quietly up to the ambulance, starting it and quickly driving out of the centre.
Rescue workers immediately gave pursuit, but lost track of the ambulance until they were informed that it was seen heading towards Phang Nga, Mr Phannakorn said.
Rescue workers called 191 to ask police in Phang Nga to search for the ambulance, he added.
Hours later, Takua Pa Police found the stolen ambulance and its driver, Anurak Boonkham, 19, originally from Surat Thani, at the bus station.
Anurak apparently explained that he had stolen the ambulance so he could get back home to Surat Thani.
However, while police were inspecting the ambulance, Anurak managed to flee on foot, Capt Peerawat explained.
About 20 minutes later, not far from the bus station, Anurak was caught again by rescue workers from Takua Pa’s Sawang Maekha rescue foundation, who made a citizen’s arrest and took Anurak to Takua Pa Police Station, he added.
“At around 11am, we were informed that Takua Pa Police had already arrested the thief and they asked Kathu Police to bring him back to Phuket,” Capt Peerawat said.
“Kathu officers are now bringing Anurak back to Kathu Police Station, where we will question him before deciding exactly which charges he will face,” Capt Peerawat confirmed.