Waiter served by Phuket police after stealing Malaysian tourists’ bags

From the Phuket News:

PHUKET: A waiter at a pub in Phuket Town has been arrested for stealing bags left behind in the pub by Malaysian tourists after he had presented one of the bags to police, claiming that he had found it on the road.

Panupan Sookhawong, 23, from Udon Thani, was arrested after he tried returning one of the bags to police as lost property. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Panupan Sookhawong, 23, from Udon Thani, presented himself to the Phuket Tourist Police headquarters on Yaowarat Rd in Phuket Town just after midnight early this morning (Sept 4).

He also presented a bag that he said he had found on the road in front of road near Satree Phuket School.

However, the bag was recognised as one reported stolen by Malaysian tourists Lim See Chong, 52, Liow Keong, 49, and Zhang Cheng, 47, who were at the at Sofa pub on Dibuk Rd, where Panupon worked, on Wednesday night.

The tourists filed a complaint at Tourist Police Station at 2:40pm the next day, said Maj Thanapan Akarakantarakorn of the Tourist Police.

“They said they were at the pub until late Wednesday night,” Maj Thanapan explained. “They left the pub and soon after realized that they had forgotten the two bags on the floor under the table where they were sitting. When they returned for the bags, they were gone.”

The two bags reported stolen reportedly contained Lim See Chong and Liow Keong’s passports; two cell phones; an iPad; identification cards and driver licenses; and B2,000, 200 ringgit and 500 yuan in cash.

“We asked around and no one saw the bags so we came to police,” said Mr Liow Keong.

When Panupon arrived at the Tourist Police Station, his luck ran out.

“We questioned him and confronted him with CCTV footage from inside the pub that showed him picking up the bags,” said Maj Thanapan.

At this point, Panupan confessed that he had stolen the bags.

He then led officers to his rented room at Sak Apartment in Bang Niew, Phuket Town, where the remaining stolen items were found hidden inside a shoebox.

Panupan was charged with committing theft during the nighttime, Maj Thanapan said.