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A Frenchman who allegedly stole a motorbike, disassembled it and then built a new bike from the parts and those of another bike – and sold the “new” bike over Facebook – was arrested at 9am yesterday morning (December 16).
Police are now searching for a Thai woman seen on CCTV footage helping him to steal the motorbike.
Kathu police led by Lt Col Kunadet Na Nongkai this morning searched the house rented by Mathieu Alfano, 28, on Phrabaramee Soi 4 in Patong. They found enough motorbike parts to give them the evidence they needed to arrest him.
Police say Alfano stole the Honda PCX 150 parked by a tenant outside an apartment building in Nanai Rd where Alfano had lived until November 28.
Alfano then took the stolen bike apart and used the components and some from another PCX bike to create a new one.
Finally, he posted the chopped motorbike for sale on the Phuket Motorbike and Cars Facebook page. It was bought by a foreigner for B40,000.
He dumped the remaining parts of the bike in Hasip Pi Rd. That was his undoing. The parts were found by a local resident who reported his find to police.
Once police were sure that the rejected components were part of the bike reported stolen from Nanai Rd they checked CCTV footage and saw a foreign man and a Thai woman stealing the bike on December 3.
Police canvassed people living in the area, who identified the foreigner as Alfano.
Police also discovered that the day after leaving the Nanai apartment, Alfano and the woman returned and stole a microwave and an electric frying pan from inside the apartment they had just vacated, then four days later returned for the Honda PCX.
Police believe that this was not the first time Alfano had stolen a motorbike and believe he may have been working as part of a motorbike chopping gang.
He is being questioned to see whether this is the case.