An arrest warrant has been issued for a grifter who masqueraded as a fortune teller to steal mobile phones from three teenage girls in Pattaya.
Police said April 10 they had a photograph of the unidentified woman they alleged was part of a well-known fraudster ring and obtained the warrant from the Pattaya Provincial Court. Investigators believe the woman is still hiding out in Banglamung District.
The warrant stems from an April 8 incident where a trio of 14-year-old girls were approached by the middle-aged woman at a shopping mall around 1:30 p.m. and told they had a negative aura around them that would soon bring them harm.
However, the woman told the young girls, she could perform a cleaning rite to restore their good luck. The girls agreed.
During the ceremony, the scammer told the girls that for the hocus-pocus to work, they would need to give up their most-prized possessions, preferably something they have with them all the time. The girls, of course, forked over their smartphones.
The woman finished her charade and told the girls they could pick up their phones, worth about 20,000 baht, at 7 p.m. But when the girls returned, the “fortune teller” had disappeared. They waited three hours before finding a payphone and calling their parents for help.
One parent took the girls to Pattaya Police Station where they recounted their tale and police pulled security-camera footage from the mall to find the grifter.