Sattahip police have arrested a group of ex-convicts who allegedly opened a car-care center so they could copy customers’ keys and later steal the vehicles.
Veerayuth Kanluesanam, 27, and Pharathong Tienthong, 24, were taken into custody Feb. 23. Suspected ring leader Kuakool Yongprayoon, 30, is still at large.
Veerayuth Kanluesanam and Pharathong Tienthong have been arrested for allegedly duplicating car keys and stealing vehicles from their car care center.
The trio allegedly set up the Jo Car Care center in Ban Chang after meeting in prison where they were serving sentences for drug dealing. The plan was for the car wash to serve as a front for a steal-to-order car theft ring. When customers brought a car matching the request of a broker, the key would be duplicated and, after the vehicle returned home, would be stolen in the middle of the night, police allege.
Sattahip Deputy Superintendent Lt. Col. Prakorn Saengprueng said more than 10 vehicles were shipped to Myanmar or Cambodia, where they were sold. He said police have closed-circuit television camera footage of gang suspects stealing four different cars.
The arrest finally came after internet shop owner Nisit Thongtui’s truck was stolen Feb. 21. The shopkeeper gave police the vital clue after disclosing he’d left his vehicle at Jo Car Care earlier that day.