Prolific pickpocketing perps pegged

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A family-based gang of pickpockets arrested numerous times over the years has again been caught lifting the wallet of a foreign tourist in Pattaya.

Suthep Chotang, 30, along with transvestites Chonsorn Thammasiri, 28, and Supachai Jampa, 34, plus area women Wilaiwan Boonchu, 26, and Janpen Khantongdee, 34 were nabbed Sept. 6 and charged with pickpocketing French tourist Michel Georges Leport, 63, who lost 7,660 baht.

Evidently at least some of the CCTC cameras are working along Beach Road, as these two images show the gang in action.
Evidently at least some of the CCTC cameras are working along Beach Road, as these two images show the gang in action.

He said a group of Thais got on the baht bus as he traveled to Central Festival Pattaya Beach. The suspects confessed to distracting the man while members of their gang lifted his wallet.

The Chotang family is hardly unknown to Pattaya Police. Members of the gang have been arrested and gone to court several times before. The Pattaya Mail reported on three of them being arrested for a similar crime in 2010 and another one being nabbed in 2014.

Other suspects in this group also had been arrested for baht bus pickpocketing previously, police said.

More light-fingered arrests

In another pickpocketing case, police announced the arrest of two transvestites for robbing an Omani tourist in South Pattaya last month.

The victim checks for his wallet immediately after the encounter, and notices it is gone as the gang makes a getaway.
The victim checks for his wallet immediately after the encounter, and notices it is gone as the gang makes a getaway.

Emmy Sonjan, 22, of Cambodia, and Winai Insawang, 29, from Suphan Buri were charged with stealing the wallet of Mohamed Alsinaidi, 45, Aug. 31 near Royal Garden Plaza. He lost about 10,000 baht.

The pair also were charged with the Sept. 5 pickpocketing of American Faisal Saleh. They were caught with his US$1,700 and several credit cards.