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Taken for a tuk-tuk ride . . . alleged Phuket thief Saichon Kompho

Phuket Tuk-Tuk Wins Big Baht Race Against Crime

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuk-Tuk Photo Album Above

IT WAS a Phuket race against time and crime, or if you prefer, a tuk-tuk tik-tok, tik-tok . . . building worker Saichon Kompho allegedly swiped a large cash stash of 173,460 baht from the retail centre construction site at K Plaza in Kata last night about 7pm.

Boozed and high on his large haul, Khun Saichon, 37, allegedly went to the local stand and hailed a tuk-tuk being driven by Pattaphon Bhumdee, 34, asking if he could ride up-front.

He didn't say a lot, according to the later police account, but he did utter the words ''To the bus station - and step on it,'' or the Thai equivalent.

Back at the construction site, the robbery was quickly discovered and other wheels were put in motion to catch the culprit.

Police checked at the local tuk-tuk stand in Kata-Karon near the scene of the heist and discovered that indeed, Khun Pattaphon had just picked up a fare. A quick-thinking officer asked Khun Pattaphon's wife to give her husband a call.

''Don't take this guy to the bus station,'' she told him. ''Take him to Chalong police station instead.''

Now, Khun Pattaphon did as he was asked, although he knew that the man alongside him was heavily tattooed, smelled of booze (and possibly a little fear) and could be armed with a knife or even a gun.

He just hoped the guy didn't know Phuket too well as he turned the tuk-tuk for Chalong police station . . . Just in case, a police motorcycle patrol picked up the trail of the tuk-tuk and sat behind it, watching.

Outside the Chalong station, in southern Phuket, plain clothes police pounced and Khun Saichon was nabbed, tuk-tuk red-handed, as it were, with the loot.

Police quickly discovered that Khun Saichon had only been out of jail for three months after serving a 16-year term.

The relived construction work boss gave the Chalong police a reward of 10,000 baht for their swift work. It is not known, though, whether Khun Pattaphon got his getaway fare for the trip.*

*Khun Pattaphon was not forgotten - he earned a 2000 baht reward.
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Comments

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Fantastic!! A joy to read. Hats off to the police and the driver.

Posted by summers on September 7, 2010 13:03

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Finally a good Tuk-Tuk story in Phuket.

I hope the police gave Khun Pattaphon Bhumdee, the Tuk-Tuk driver, his share.

Posted by Brad Kenny on September 7, 2010 13:15

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''To the bus station - and step on it,'' or the Thai equivalent.

Great line, reminds me of those US movies from the 40's.

Posted by Anonymous on September 7, 2010 16:46

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2000 baht to the tuk tuk driver! (moderated.)

Posted by Benjie on September 7, 2010 19:34

Editor Comment:

Benjie, this article doesn't reinforce the stereotype, so why do you?


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