Aussie arrested for allegedly stealing ring for marriage proposal

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An Australian man was arrested for allegedly stealing a diamond-encrusted platinum ring he planned to give his girlfriend as an engagement ring.

Justin Vida, 34, was apprehended by police on Soi Buakaow Sept. 28, shortly after allegedly snatching the ring from the Daranee 1 gold shop in South Pattaya.

Storeowner Pitipong Tantichairattanakul said Vida had come into the shop asking about a diamond-platinum ring and that he had plans to ask his Thai girlfriend to marry him. Closed-circuit television cameras captured Vida pocketing the ring while the shopkeeper was distracted and running out.

Australian Justin Vida is brought back to the gold shop to face his victims. Australian Justin Vida is brought back to the gold shop to face his victims.

Pitipong said he gave chase to the Aussie, but could not catch him. He then returned to the store opposite Chaimongkol Temple and called police. After getting a photo of him form the security footage, they tracked him down to Soi Buakaow. Officers found the ring in his possession.

Police said Vida confessed to stealing the ring, adding that if his girlfriend turned down his marriage proposal, he’d planned to sell the 20,000 baht ring. Officers discovered that the Aussie, staying in a cheap room near Tony’s Gym, lost his passport two months ago.

Vida’s plans for a marriage proposal were put off as he was booked at Pattaya Police Station on theft and immigration charges.