Capt Somporn Rangsimanrat of the Phuket City Police and other fellow police was called to a row house in Soi Dechanarong, off Yaowarat Rd in Samkong, at around 10:30am today (Mar 20), where they arrested Sutthipong Aumsuk, 25, originally from Chachoengsao.
Sakkarin Rujiraworranan, a 56-year-old local resident who chased down the thief and called the police, explained to officers that he was withdrawing cash from an ATM in front of the Kasikornbank branch on Yaowarat Rd when he saw Sutthipong using a hammer to break open a coin box fitted to a washing machine at a 24-hour laundrette nearby.
When Sutthipong went to flee on his motorbike, Sakkarin kicked him.
“He fell down, and lots of coins fell out from his bag and onto the road,” Mr Sakkarin said.
“He ran off and I chased him. He ran down a dead-end street, and I saw him run into a row house, so I called the police,” he said.
Police arrived and ordered Sutthipong to come out. With their patience running out, officers kicked the door ajar, prompting Sutthipong to open the door fully and surrender.
Police placed Sutthipong under arrest and marked him as in possession of B1,740 in coins, which included the coins the police picked up from the street.
Officers also seized the hammer used to break open the coin box, a tote bag and the Phuket-registered Honda Scoopy i motorbike Sutthipong tried to flee on.
Sutthipong told police that he had already stolen about B2,000 in coins from three coin boxes at the laundrette two days ago.
He returned today to steal from the other two boxes.
He said he wanted the money to spend on traveling.
Capt Somporn confirmed that Sutthipong has been charged with theft.