4 teens jailed for stealing German’s 5-baht gold necklace

Friday, 24 January 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 4 By  Boonlua Chatree

Four teenagers were arrested for allegedly stealing an ostentatious gold necklace dangling from the neck of a German tourist.

Nattawut Taehalung, 18, and three minors - ages 14, 17, and 17 - were apprehended in two separate arrests Jan. 15, minutes after German Fredi Todias, 36, had a 5-baht-weight gold necklace and pendant worth more than 100,000 baht yanked from around his neck as he sat on a motorbike near the Wiangjan restaurant in South Pattaya.

Police said the two youngest teens, nabbed near the Thepprasit Boxing Stadium, were acting as decoys for Nattawut and his partner, who were captured while hiding on a small side street behind the restaurant.

The four teens had been working the city, with the older boys stealing gold to sell for party money while the two youngest would try to get police to follow them.

At a news conference, police officials again implored tourists not to wear thick and expensive gold jewelry in public, as flashing jewelry worth more than a year’s salary to most Thais serves as too much of a magnet for crime.

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