A JOBLESS five-star hotel chef was arrested today (Oct. 11) after snatching a gold alloy chain and three amulets from an elderly woman in Phang Nga province three days ago, Matichon newspaper said.
Mrs. Sanya Yokchua, 74, was sitting at a coffee shop in front of her house at Thai Mueang district of this southern province when the suspect rode up and snatched her gold alloy necklace weighing two baht and priced at 15,000 baht and three amulets worth another 10,500 baht totalling 25,500 baht.
However police investigators at Thai Muang district tracked down the suspect, Mr. Mongkol Preechada, 36, at his house by going through surveillance camera clips. Seized were his motorcycle, clothes and helmet he wore during the robbery and the three amulets but the gold alloy chain was missing.
Mongkol, who had previously worked at several hotels in Khao Lak and Phuket, confessed to snatching the valuable chain and amulets but explained that he had been jobless for over a year and was in debt for around 100,000 baht.
However at the end of last month a hotel said they were interested in hiring him and for him to submit a health certificate.
As he did not have the money to undergo a checkup he asked his relatives to loan him the required amount but they turned him down.
He then rode out to try to borrow from some acquaintances but upon seeing the elder woman sitting there wearing this expensive necklace got tempted to snatch it.
Regarding the gold alloy chain, he said he sold it at a gold shop for 14,000 baht and used all of it to repay debts.
Police questioned the gold shopkeeper about the chain but he said he had already sent it to Bangkok to be melted.
Sanya said it was a miracle that she got her three amulets back plus not having been seriously injured during the snatching even though she suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure.
The jobless hotel chef being arrested today, above, and Sanya getting her amulets back, below. Photos: Matichon
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