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Police order manhunt for fugitive robbers

A nationwide manhunt is underway for five armed  robbers who robbed a cash delivery van  in front of a convenient store in Chonburi province.

The robbers made away with almost seven  million baht in cash but police managed to track down the license plate of the escape vehicle which strongly implicates an influential figure in Phan Thong district.

man huntClosed-circuit video camera showed  three men who managed to rob a cash delivery van belonging to the Siam Administrative Management Co. Ltd.

The robbery occurred as three staff members were in the process of refilling bags of cash into an ATM machine in front of the Baan Suan branch of a Lotus Express convenient store in Nhong Khang Khok sub-district in Chonburi province early this morning.

One of the three assailants disguised himself as a lottery vendor  and was on the lookout close to the van  while awaiting a signal from his two accomplices who drove a black colored four door Toyota Vigo pickup truck with Ko Por 4574 registration plates.

On receiving their signal, the disguised lottery seller pulled a gun and proceeded to terrorize the staff members ordering them to lie down on the floor.

 Bags of cash were then snatched from the rear of the vehicle  and the three men then made their escape in the pickup truck and scattered caltrops (road spikes) to disable pursuit vehicles.

All in all, the robbery took no more than one minute and the robbers were then seen making their getaway on the Chonburi-Klaeng  by-pass road. The men were also clearly seen with cloths covering their faces to hide their features during the robbery.

Police Lieutenant General Chaiyong Kirati-kajorn, the deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, has personally travelled to Chonburi province to oversee the investigation.

He called a meeting with the 2nd Provincial Police force and ordered roadblocks to be set up to intercept the criminals to prevent them from escaping across the border.

Another team of detectives has closely inspected the closed-circuit TV footage and believes that the three men headed either in the direction of Sri Racha or Pattaya districts.

Eyewitness accounts have also revealed that many people had seen the disguised lottery seller on the premises for a period of no less than two weeks before the actual robbery.

Police were able to make a vital break in the case having discovered that the registration plates on the escape vehicle was registered to a known influential figure based in Phan Thong district in Chonburi province.

Furthermore, police believe that the suspects were the same ones who had previously robbed another money transport in Chachoengsao province due to the identical methods employed in both robberies.

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