Maj Suchart Chmphusaeng of the Patong Police Investigation Division named the teenager arrested only as “Mr Dee”, originally from Songkhla.
The arrest followed temple staff reporting to police at 8am yesterday that someone had stolen a donation box, Maj Suchart explained.
The temple staff had confirmed from checking CCTV that a man stole a donation box from the temple’s prayer chapel at about 2:50am.
After freeing the donation box by using several tools, the man, donation box in hand, fled the temple and rode off on a motorbike.
Police checked CCTV footage from cameras in the area and eventually tracked down and arrested Mr Dee at an apartment building in Soi Phra Baramee 1 in Patong.
Mr Dee was found with B427 in a pocket of the pants he was wearing, Maj Suchart said.
A search of his accommodation discovered other items of evidence, Maj Suchart said, namely a rubber hummer, a saw, a screwdriver, the clothes he wore while committing the thefts, and a red-black Suzuki Step motorbike.
Mr Dee was taken to Patong Police Station, where he confessed that he acquired B2,700 from the donation box, which he dumped near the Tesco Lotus store on Phra Phuketkaew Rd in Kathu, Maj Suchart explained.
The teenager told police that he stole another donation box from the same temple on Dec 25, Maj Suchart added.
That time, Mr Dee got only B1,000, he said.
Maj Suchart confirmed that Mr Dee was charged with theft in the nighttime by using a vehicle to flee.