Police say teen girl’s innocent looks belie scam artist’s nature


A teenage girl who parlayed her innocent looks into a successful career as a quick-change artist is now behind bars, captured by street vendors from whom she allegedly swindled thousands of baht.

“Pim”, 16, was detained by merchants on Soi Kophai 8 around 2 a.m. Oct. 23. Angry vendors told police the Petchabun native had been making a habit out of tricking them out of cash and food and was apprehended after allegedly trying a 1,000 baht scam on barbecue chicken vendor Komsan Jetamin.

Scammed vendors point out the underage girl who had been using her innocent looks to steal from them. Scammed vendors point out the underage girl who had been using her innocent looks to steal from them.

The 29-year-old vendor said Pim had ordered 10 kebabs and paid him with a 1,000 baht note. After being given the chicken, she then asked if Komsan wanted her to change the large bill for smaller notes, the vendor claimed. Thinking she was simply a helpful daughter of a local merchant, he agreed and handed over the cash, only to have her never return.

Searching the area around Jomtien Soi 4 later, he found her and enlisted help from other merchants.

It was then the innocent-girl façade began to crack. Other merchants said they recognized Pim as a accused scammer who’d been playing on their good nature to rob them blind.

Grilled octopus vendor Suriya Paapjunda, 47, said he’d been taken for 700 baht and 20 octopus skewers. Uthen Hutaprasert, 43, said his fruit cart had been taken for 3,000 baht. Oranut Ruamthum, 39, lost 1,000 from her fruit cart. Another octopus griller, Supanya Pachunda, 41, lost 300 baht. Clothes merchant Naree Vodherng, 25, said she was victimized for 4,200 baht and gift shop owner Achara Dechakaisaya, 58, said she was tricked out of 4,000 baht.

Police, believing there are more victims out there, said the girl confessed to the scams, saying she first stole from vendors out of necessity, but now just used the money for partying and personal expenses.