A family-based gang of pickpockets arrested several times before have again been caught lifting the wallet of a foreign tourist.
Police were called to Chaimongkol Temple in South Pattaya Dec. 18 to take the report of 63-year-old Manfred Bieber. He said he’d taken a baht bus from Pratamnak Road to the temple. Before he arrived, a group of six women got on the taxi at the VC Hotel. One started chatting with him and, after they got off the truck, he realized his wallet was gone.
He told police officers he immediately suspected the women, who had jumped on another taxi.
Pickpocket gang members show police how they do it: One of the women puts a bag on her lap, then reaches under it to pick the wallet while the other members distract the victim.
Police fanned out and quickly found the suspected thieves at the corner of Soi 6 and Second Road. Police searched the women and found Bieber’s black wallet – containing 2,070 baht, 200 euros and other documents – on a 14-year-old suspect.
Arrested were Tuanjai Chotang, 26, Wanpen Chotang, 23, Buatip Chotang, 20, Phinpit Khumsaneg, 24, and Kanya Chalermklin, 29, and the unnamed 14-year-old.
Members of the Chotang family are hardly strangers to Pattaya Police, as they have been arrested several times before. Perhaps it’s time for a stiffer sentence.
The Chotang family are hardly strangers to the Pattaya Police. Officers said several members had been arrested and gone to court several times before.
Wanpen admitted to stealing Bieber’s wallet by using an accomplice to distract him and the teen girl to hold the money. She told officers the family had previously worked at a family pickpocket gang on Thepprasit Soi 7 in Jomtien Beach, but relocated to the Naklua Market area after a dispute with a rival gang.