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At 3.10am this morning (May 15) Pol Captain Wattanathon Bamrungthin of Kathu Police was alerted to an incident of automobile arson.
Police dispatched a municipality fire truck to the scene, near the entrance to the Irawadee Ket Ho housing subdivision of Kathu’s Moo 1, where a bronze-coloured BMW parked illegally on the curbside was ablaze in flames.
Authorities worked for about 15 minutes to douse the flames, which had completely destroyed the vehicle.
Police detained a suspect, 30-year-old Mr Warot Na Patthalung, formerly known by the name of Nattapong Na Phattalung, who was identified as the suspected driver and arsonist of the BMW.
Mr Warot was reported to be in a heavily intoxicated state at the time of arrest, and was displaying signs of someone under the influence of meth, police said.
According to eyewitnesses, Mr Warot had driven the BMW back and forth on the street several times, before finally parking the car on the curb and entering a rented house, where he was said to have resided with an unnamed woman.
After a loud shouting match with the woman, Mr Warot emerged from the house with a tank of gasoline, which he then poured onto the BMW and ignited it, witnesses reported.
Police Colonel Chawalit Phetsripia of Kathu Police said that police are awaiting results of a drug test.
“We believe the car belongs to Mr Warot’s friend who is serving time in Phuket for drug charges. We’ve had several incidents with Mr Warot parking this car illegally on the curb, and tonight he also threatened us that he will burn down the police station if we arrested him,” Pol Co Chawalit said.