Officers tracked down and arrested Thanapon Sukjam, 48, at an unreported location in Phuket Town at 4am yesterday, Chalong Police Chief Col Pakayot Tanongsak explained to the press yesterday during a re-enactment of the crime by the suspect.
Present for the re-enactment with Col Pakayot was Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos.
“Thanapon is a motorbike taxi driver usually based at Chalong Circle. He picked up 39-year-old Australian Stephen Kennedy from a nightclub in Rawai and took him back to the Rawai Palm Beach Resort at 3:55am Tuesday (May 8),” Col Pakayot said.
Mr Kennedy gave Thanapon one Australian $100 banknote (worth about B2,400) for the fare and asked Thanapon for the change.
Thanapon refused, and that’s how the fight started, Col Pakayot explained.
While they were fighting, Thanapon managed to grab Mr Kennedy’s bag and sped off, making off with another AUS$100, B1,280 in cash, credit cards and an iPhone 6 worth about B20,0000, Col Pakayot said.
“We tracked him down and found him in Phuket Town with the same motorbike he used in committing the crime,” Col Pakayot explained.
In placing Thanapon under arrest, police also seized the motorbike used in committing the crime, as well as the helmet and red motorbike taxi vest Thanapon wore during the robbery.
Thanapon confessed to police that he committed the crime, Col Pakayot said.
However, Col Pakayot noted, “He said that he had already sold the mobile phone and spent all the money,”
Thanapon has been charged for committing the robbery, Col Pakayot confirmed.
However, Col Pakayot made no mention which night venue was open in Rawai well past 3am or if authorities were even interested in investigating the venue for illegal late trading, as Rawai is within Chalong Police jurisdiction.