Highway robbers don’t let a few steel guard rails affixed into the ground deter them from making their daily living, albeit illegally. It seems that anything under Thai skies is worth stealing, whether movable or immovable.
Two cases of theft were reported to Huay Yai police on Nov 9. Sirikorn Kantaphom, chief of the Khao Mai Kaew Highways Department, reported the theft of 127 guardrails on Highway 331 from KM 20+300 to KM 20+900. He estimated the costs of the government property at 2 million baht.
Sirikorn said that as he was driving along that area, he noticed that the guard rails were missing. On inspection, he saw that not only the guardrails were gone, but also the steel pillars that anchored them into the ground. The thieves even took all the screws and bolts with them.
Another theft was reported in the vicinity when Charin Banyenngam, a 33-year-old highway safety chief, reported that 300 metres of the guardrails were stolen from in front of the Pattaya Golf Course on Highway 331 from KM 28+500 to KM28+900. The cost of the stolen steel guard rails was estimated to be 500,000 baht.
Pol. Col. Apichanan Wattanawarangkul, superintendent of Huay Yai Police Station, ordered an immediate investigation into the theft. He said that all CCTV cameras in the area would be checked. The police chief said that the nature of the theft suggested that the thieves were professionals and had access to heavy tools and equipment to be able to unscrew the nuts and bolts and pull the heavy steel rails and pilings out of the ground.
He assured the highway department that it would not be too difficult to trace the culprits and arrest them.