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Tourist victim and hungry Thai thief: Olga Ivanova and Noppadon Lertkarn

Phuket Tourist Confronts Starving Bag Thief

Thursday, May 13, 2010
Photo Album Above

THE PHOTO tells it all: the Russian tourist and the hungry thief. Olga Ivanova, 24, will be flying home today while Phuket police continue to question Noppadon Lertkarn, 18, about robberies along one of the island's most popular beachfronts.

Ms Ivanova and three friends hired beach lounges at Karon yesterday and left a bag on one of the small tables. They had chosen to go for a swim near the tsunami tower at Karon, opposite the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa.

The Russian visitors didn't know it, but the spot they chose was close to the scene of last week's slash-and-run crime involving Swedish tourist Emelia Andersson, 22, who was knifed on the first day of her holiday. She spent most of it in hospital, instead of at a luxurious private pool villa.

For Ms Ivanova, who arrived on Phuket on April 26, her Phuket beach vacation was almost at an end when the bag-snatcher struck about 5.30pm yesterday. Locals saw what happened and pursued the thief.

Within minutes, Khun Noppadon, a sad, bedraggled figure, was hauled out from a roadside drain and taken to Chalong police station. Yesterday evening, a tearful Ms Ivanova, who told police she was a DJ back home in Russia, had her bag and its contents returned.

Inside the bag, police found a wallet, an iPhone, the key to a rented car, five US dollars, 1240 baht and three Russian pawn shop tickets.

Khun Noppadon told police he stole out of desperation because he does not have a job and he was starving. He had had nothing to eat for two days.

He said this was the first and only time he had been forced to turn robber.

No knife was found. However, police were intending to question Khun Noppadon further about the attack on Ms Andersson, which took place in the same area a few days earlier.

Ms Andersson suffered a serious knife wound to her forearm when the slash-and-run robber cut the strap of her bag and took off along the beach road.

Senior Phuket police recently told Phuketwan that violent robberies involving knives and guns on the island were increasing because of a growing underclass of jobless young people with no other means of support.

Thais are most often the victims. Attacks on tourists remain relatively rare. While Phuket remains a relatively safe destination for tourists, the island's low-season economy is in a less-than-desirable state because of political unrest in Bangkok.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


Good on ya! Not only are the Tuk Tuks screwing the tourists but the bars and restaurants in Karon are overcharging, too. Almost every night some visitor is conned and threatened into paying a bar bill well in excess to what it should be. The bars target the Swedes and Russians. That said, it was even tried on me but I have a system of retaining either the bottle tops or the top sticky label of the beer bottle and always, with friends, insist on numerous bills.

Posted by Nip on May 13, 2010 10:52


Thank you for the photos. I will commit the face of this vermin to memory as, knowing the Phuket police, he will be free in no time...........just like Dylan.

By the way what ever happened to the tuk tuk driver who beat up the French tourist? Or the Kata Kidnapper?

Posted by VFaye on May 13, 2010 11:03


Wow VFaye...I hope you never fall on hard times and have to resort to desperate means to eat. Looks like he just needs a break.

Posted by Bobby Brown on May 13, 2010 11:55


If this guy is so hungry, why doesn't he get a job ? Construction jobs are easy to find, but I guess he doesn't like the routine of getting up and working eight hours a day....In Thailand, no one needs to go hungry!

Posted by Ian on May 13, 2010 16:12


to Bobby Brown.. why don't you support him then? Certainly he must know that temples here are the social welfare of Thailand. Sure he could have gone there too. Does he have no family?

Posted by VFaye on May 13, 2010 18:12


If he stole from the locals, his punishment would be very very different.

Editor: Under Thai law and according to the Chief Justice of Phuket, everyone is treated equally. Don't feed us the usual unjustifiable expat paranoia, please. Wake up to yourself, Hunt

Posted by Mike Hunt on May 13, 2010 21:09


Editor: Sorry, English only please . . .

Posted by Mishy on May 13, 2010 21:46


He looks pretty hungry - but more than that he needs a haircut. He must be hungry if he can't afford a haircut!

Posted by Jake on May 14, 2010 02:52


Sounds more like the actions of a drug addict than those of someone just hungry. Honestly, I'd expect someone who is hungry to steal food, not property.

Posted by Cat on May 14, 2010 08:28


Grabbing a bag and running is not a robbery, it's a theft. Big difference. Ms Anderson was robbed, Ms Ivanova was not. Good on the locals for doing something.

Posted by Expat on May 17, 2010 03:24


1. You guys are harsh. 2. Good on the police for buying him some vitamilk. 3. Russia looks nice.

Posted by James on May 21, 2010 15:07

Monday July 13, 2020
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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