Suspect arrested after reportedly stealing religious statue in front of Pattaya shop

Pattaya-

A 25 year old Thai man was arrested today and accused of stealing a religious statue in front of a Pattaya area shop and then attempting to sell the statue at a local market.

The suspect, 25 year old Mr. Thanapol (Last name not given by Pattaya Police officers to the press) was arrested by a team of officers led by Police Major General Chainarong Jitsoontorn at his home at 2:00 PM yesterday, June 14, 2020. The missing statue was found wrapped in blankets in a motorcycle sidecar at his residence.

The statue was taken from a pedestal in front of the Glossline shop located at Sukhumvit Soi 44, Village Number Nine. Mr. Thanapol admitted to stealing the statue, according to Police Major General Chainarong.  Thanapol claimed he had recently been employed at a sign making shop prior to the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis but had been laid off due to lack of work.  Financially destitute, he resorted to theft to attempt to make ends meet.

Thanapol told police he intended to sell the statue at a local market before he was caught by police due to CCTV in the vicinity of the store.

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Miss Pornphen Anuwat Wilom, 36, told associated Thai press that the statue was stolen on the morning of June 11, 2020. She stated that staff prayed and paid respect to the statue on a daily basis and once they noticed it was missing they immediately contacted Pattaya area police for assistance.  Thanapol had attempted to turn one CCTV camera to hide his movements, she said, but other cameras in the area managed to capture him on video which led to his arrest.

Mr. Thanapol faces charges of theft and remains in police custody as of press time.

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