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French tourist Daniel Estermann, 70, fought off two and captured one

Couple Fight Off Armed Bag Snatchers

Friday, October 24, 2014
PHUKET: A holidaymaking French couple fought off two young bandits who attacked them and tried to rob them at knifepoint on Phuket last night.

Daniel Estermann, 70, proved age is no handicap in dealing with a 15-year-old bandit and a blade-wielding 14-year-old companion.

He and Aurelie Denise Allain-Lebreton, 32, turned their motorcycle down a lane off Viset Road in Chalong about 10pm last night and were followed by the two boys on their motorcycle.

In a dimly lit stretch of Soi Suksan 2, the boys - who cannot be named because they are minors - pulled in front then waved the french couple to a halt.

''The 14-year-old, riding on the back, got off, walked to the couple, and attempted to grab the woman's bag,'' an officer at Chalong Police Station told Phuketwan today. ''She held on and there was a tug of war.

''Mr Daniel, who is fairly large, jumped off the motorcycle and pushed the boy. At that point, the boy produced the knife.

''Mr Daniel was not backing off. He kept swinging, even when the boy slashed his hand and his ear.

''The boy ended up on the ground, thanks to Mr Daniel. At that point, the other boy jumped off the motorcycle and he tackled Mr Daniel, too.

''Mr Daniel fought him off. That boy jumped on his motorcycle and fled. Meanwhile, M Aurelie was running down the lane to the main road, yelling for help and police.

''Mr Daniel kept the first boy subdued on the ground and telephoned a friend who runs a resort in Rawai, asking him to contact the police.''

Police are holding the first boy, who lives south of Phuket City, and expect to arrest the second boy quickly. Neither of them attends school, the officer said.

Police advise people who are bailed up at knifepoint is to give the robbers what they want, not to fight back. Resisting has led to fatalities.

The French couple, who arrived on Phuket for a holiday on October 16, will provide evidence to the Prosecutor's Office today so they can leave as scheduled on November 4.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


There always storage space under the scooters seat, why dont people put there bags there to avoid this happening.

Posted by Michael on October 24, 2014 10:26


When I drove an expensive car in the UK and there was a spate of car jacking, (mainly on women) a friend said if it happened to him he would not resist, I said I would. Sadly today violence is much greater and resisting cost an Australian lady her life in Kata Noi. Therefore today I would not resist, a knife can end life in seconds.

Posted by Feisty Farang on October 24, 2014 10:54


What will be the penalty for the thugs ? Something similar just happened to a friend of mine in Phang Nga. Police suggested to him to let it go and to accept an excuse. Case closed, kids go for the next robbery, as they don't have to fear any serous punishment.

Posted by Resident on October 24, 2014 15:48

Editor Comment:

At 14 and 15 they will probably spend time in the youth detention centre and hopefully come out with a better plan for their futures.


If you lunge at someone with a knife looks attempted murder to me to avoid capture @ed hope springs eternal.

Posted by slickmelb on October 26, 2014 19:50


The Frenchman should have taken the opportunity before the police arrived to beat the crap out of the thief that he caught. I know I would have.

Posted by Hank on October 26, 2014 20:43

Editor Comment:

Perhaps ''the Frenchman'' is not by nature a violent person, Hank. Perhaps he believes in upholding the law.

Thursday December 9, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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