The way Chalong police tell it, a couple of Thais who happened to be holidaymaking on Phuket then took advantage of what almost turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime.
The man and his girlfriend swooped on the open pickup, making off with five gold rings, 7000 baht in cash, some paperwork and an ATM card.
After the swim, Mr Rowland, 41, returned to his pickup and discovered the theft. He reported the robbery to police at Chalong, and he would have reported the theft of the ATM card to a bank, except that it was Saturday afternoon.
What he didn't realise was that the thieving pair turned out to be pretty smart. They discovered his date of birth among the stolen paperwork, then decided that perhaps Mr Rowland might use it as his ATM card passcode . . . and . . . bingo!
They were able to access his ATM account. In a succession of 33 transactions, they manoeuvred large amounts of Mr Rowland's presumably hard-earned cash.
Among the manipulations: 400,000 baht went in a transfer to a friend's account in Nakorn Sri Tammarat, their home province. Another friend in Bangkok was the recipient of 120,000 baht, and a third friend in Khon Kaen was sent 190,000 baht.
It is not easy to imagine Mr Rowland's reaction on Monday when he reported the ATM card missing at his bank . . . and discovered he was 750,000 baht lighter.
Fast-forward to Wednesday and a classy hotel in Nakorn Sri Tammarat, with the holidaying couple from Phuket back, and enjoying a little luxury in Room 18. Money is no object.
Outside is a neat second-hand Toyota Vios saloon. The contented couple paid a deposit in cash to purchase it on Phuket and drove it back to Nakorn Sri Tammarat, sparing no expense along the way.
At 8pm, though, the fun comes to a sudden end. Police knock on the door, and the couple are told that the game is up.
Today Pichai Boonrit ,26, and Patcharin Rattapansoontra, 24, are back on Phuket but their accommodation this time around is Chalong police station jail. Tomorrow, having confessed to their crime, they will appear in court.
The bank managed to halt the transfers, so Mr Rowland still has most of his 750,000 baht. The security cameras at a number of ATMs where the 33 transactions were made gave police a good look at the holidaying pair, who made the most of their time by the seashore on Phuket.
And Mr Rowland? Wiser but poorer, he may well be committing to memory a less obvious ATM passcode.