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''Andy'' with the Toyota Vigo that he allegedly rented and did not return

Phuket Expat Wanted for Theft of Friend's 900,000 Baht Car

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
PHUKET: Phuket police are hunting an expat named Andy who has allegedly ripped off a local car renter and fled with his new 940,000 baht Toyota Vigo.

The renter eventually went to Kathu Police Station in Patong when it became evident his ''friend'' Andy was not such a friend after all.

Sapornchai Turnthin,43, told police at the station, which oversees Patong, that he had last seen his new black four-door Vigo on April 16.

''Andy and I had been friends for five years,'' he told police. ''That's why I didn't worry about getting any details from him or formalising the deal. Andy was a friend.''

Khun Sapornchai said his friend hailed from Hungary, and said that he'd really like the Vigo to show his parents, who were coming to visit, around Thailand.

News of the vehicle's disappearance was reported to police on May 28 and officers now think that ''Andy'' has probably taken the vehicle to Chonburi to dispose of it.

Khun Sapornchai, keen to get the Vigo back, has offered a 10,000 baht reward for information leading to an arrest, with 30,000 baht for police.

Comments

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Unlikely to see that again but not to worry his Insurance will cover the loss..... Oooops silly me i forgot, rental companies don't bother with Comprehensive Insurance as we've found out in recent events...som nam nah !!!

Posted by Ricky on June 28, 2011 11:25

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Curious Ricky, how did this guy get what he deserved? Or are you saying "som nom nah" because he trusted a Westerner?

Where's the usual crowd on this one? Disappointed I have not seen the comments like; "Uncontrolled Farangs!!!! This is just so typical of Western Culture the larks can't help themselves or something similar. Personally feel for the guy, few things that feel like you have been gut shot worse than when you are cheated by someone who you thought was a friend. Interestingly the only two times I have been burned living here were both by Western "friends" who I had known for several years.

Posted by Martin on June 28, 2011 15:06

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neither a borrower nor a lender be!!

Posted by another steve on June 28, 2011 17:15

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Not true Ricky, my GF have a rental car and that car do have insurance for rental, and i know quiet a few who rent out have that insurance, and why say Som Nam Na, you think its OK? and insurance dont pay much when a guy who rent a car takes off, if they pay at all, ask my GF

Posted by southbound on June 28, 2011 18:26

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Martin

It didnt occur to you that what happened here was apparently unusual enough to become a news story? Now, if this was as common as the Tuk Tuk drivers and jetski gangs uncontrolled, yes, UNCONTROLLED behaviour there would of course be people here commenting on exactly that.

Posted by christian on June 28, 2011 19:59

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Christian, yes it is rare for it to be reported. It didn't occur to me that the action is rare because I don't think it is. Example: I know of at least four other Thai rental guys that this or something similar has happened and numerous property renters who have been scammed by foreigners. In none of the cases did the owners bother to contact the police because they knew their cars were gone and cops would do nothing. I believe there are probably many more. In one particular case it was a rental shop who I have done business with for about 10 years and an acquaintance of mine used my name as a reference. Since I referred many people to the guy's business he thought nothing of it until 3 weeks to late.

The implication of your comment is that Thais are always doing bad things and foreigners rarely. I think it is pretty naive to think that there are not Westerners who committing crimes here and naive to think that all are reported.

Also demographics should be considered given the ratios it is more likely that a Thai will be involved in a crime but would suspect that on a per capita basis the farangs are holding their own. Likewise it is naive to think that because a few Thais are involved in the things reported here, all of them are evil or even that all would do the same in the same situation.

I own a retail business and in 15 years I have seen some incredible vandalism, theft and destruction. Mind boggling "why would anyone think to do that and to what purpose" kind of stuff. 100% committed by LTS (ex-pat) foreigners. Our customer base is 60% Thai, never a problem with any of them. Not one. That indicates to me that perhaps there might be more to consider than just what the headline counts are.

As for the "uncontrolled" element. Perhaps you are correct but have you considered that it is unusual for "uncontrolled" people to go to meetings where controlling them is discussed and participate? The fact that they participate would be indicative of some control. Like an an anarchist who joins a government, they are no longer an anarchist. It is too simple to blame the lot for the bad behavior of a few. Also, I am hesitant to label any group of people and place a group behavior or aspersion on all of them out of hand. It's easy enough to do but not accurate or just.

Anti-social behavior happens everywhere by everyone. The issues here are less culturally based than they are human nature based (in my opinion). Just my opinion and I think that is where our differences lie, yours seems to be that bad behavior is somehow native or culturally inculcated in them. I have never ever seen this to be the case with really any group so maligned and have seen that argument do a lot of damage to the world over time. I wonder if you have considered where this line of thought leads?

Posted by Martin on June 29, 2011 12:00

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Apparently the police are looking for a white male of European decent named Andy but as he is likely using an alias they have widened the net to anybody using a name.

They suspect he might be driving a car but also are keeping an open mind that the car could already have been sold so are also focusing on people without cars.

An all points bulletin has been issued and it is expected 50% of all tourists will be arrested by night fall.

Posted by Rob on June 29, 2011 13:23

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He obviously lived by the message on his t-shirt: "No money, no honey". No doubt selling that Vigo on the black market paid for a year's supply of honey.

Posted by Atchariya P. Supaporn on June 30, 2011 15:10

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Funny enough, how a car with a red plate could be rented?

Posted by dang on July 3, 2011 20:10

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This time farang win and Thai loose. Now that does not happen often in Thailand. Oh well...mai ben rai

Posted by WAYNE on July 5, 2011 19:59

Editor Comment:

This is not about winners and losers, WAYNE. It's about a thief who on this occasion, happens to be European.

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A police woman we know mentioned they have him in lockup in Udon Thani. Maybe it's already know but if not there you have it.

Posted by JingJing on July 8, 2011 23:28

Editor Comment:

Thanks for the news. We've published another report since this one, JinJing - and updated it with his arrest. Just do a search for Andy.


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