A 17-year-old Phuket youngster who had his eye on acquiring an iPhone5 took the easy option and snatched the Frenchman's handset as he rode past at speed.
While the initial acquisition went well, the rest of the youngster's dream of smartphone ownership - at no cost - quickly fell apart.
The Frenchman, aged 38 and deprived of his main method of communication, still managed to find a patrol policeman not far from the spot on the beach road where his iPhone sped off into the distance.
It was in his grasp close to the entrance to the Amari Coral Beach Phuket resort. Soon after, it disappeared.
The iPhone's new ''owner'' sped on along the coast road, but by the time he reached Kalim, north of Patong, another police patrol was waiting.
The young man and his motorcycle briefly parted company, leaving him with a few scratches and scrapes.
Deprived of the iPhone, the young man's aspirations for material possessions may be interrupted for a few years by a period in detention. He cannot be named for legal reasons.
It is thought the Frenchman may not use the iPhone quite so often while riding his motorcycle in future.