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Samui has recently been plagued by a spate of thefts which seem to have randomly targeted both resorts and private homes.
The person responsible for the thefts has been captured on numerous cctv cameras, confidently walking into homes and resorts and brazenly opening unlocked front doors, only to disappear inside the premises and help themselves to whatever took their fancy.
The North of the island (Bantai to Cheong Mon) seems to have taken the brunt of the hits, but, despite cctv footage and numerous other sightings (and even the fact that the thief had a very distinctive hair style), he was proving difficult to track down.
Until yesterday that is!
On some occasions the thief’s entrance into a property did not go unnoticed, and he was challenged by the home owner or a member of resort staff. His response was simply that he was ‘looking for a friend’ (usually a ‘Ferang’) and confidently gave a name and asked if the person knew them. After a negative answer, the thief simply left the premises… no doubt to look for yet another target.
However, yesterday that all changed when our thief entered the property of a certain Bianca O’Connor in Cheong Mon!
Bianca was actually at home when the thief entered her property and she – naturally – asked what he wanted. After the usual excuse of ‘looking for a friend’ who didn’t exist, the thief was ready to leave when Bianca coolly asked if she could ‘take a picture’… rather surprisingly – and fortunately for us – our thief readily consented, and duly set a pose on his motorbike for Bianca to take her picture! Bianca did, in fact, take 3 photographs.
After seeing pictures of the same person previously on SamuiTimes, Bianca was fully aware who this person was, and quickly contacted Steve Bray (see a previous SamuiTimes story where Steve is asking for help to catch this man) to say that she had just had a visit from the same person. Steve gave Bianca a contact number for the police in Maenam, and passed on to the police the pictures she had taken. Bianca also mentioned to police that she was convinced the thief was not a man at all, but a female ‘dressed-up as a man’ (in other words, a ‘TomBoy’)!
Rather cleverly, Bianca had managed to take photographs which also showed the telephone number of the rental company the thief had used to rent the motorbike she was using!
It was a relatively easy job for the police to then make contact with the rental shop and get further details about the thief, and, over the next few hours the Maenam police had 2 teams out searching for the motorbike.
Although the search was not fruitful, it did lead to more information… information which included the address of the house the thief was staying at!
Unfortunately, she was not at home when the police called, but 2 other people were.
There then followed a few hours of ‘cat-and-mouse’ games in trying to get our thief to return home so she could be nabbed. This was somewhat complicated by the fact that she seemed to be aware that something was up, and only after being persuaded by one of the occupants that the police had finally left her home, did she return… only to be arrested by the police that were still ‘in residence’.
Numerous items were recovered from the house and taken to Maenam police station to be checked against reports of items recently stolen.
Items recovered included mobile phones, an iPad, ladies fashion handbags, sunglasses, watches, baseball caps, purses, and wallets (as well as other items).
There were more than 30 items in total.
Some of the items have already been identified and claimed by victims of the thief, and will be returned to their rightful (and delighted) owners after due processing by the police. Other items have yet to be claimed.
The thief has been fully identified by police, and she is currently in custody awaiting her court appearance and sentencing.
Maenam police would like to pass on their thanks to the SamuiTimes and everyone that helped to publicise the actions of this individual that eventually led to her arrest.
However, the police singled out both Bianca O’Connor and Steve Bray for special thanks. Their concerted effort, and the photographs taken by Bianca in particular, gave police the information that directly led to the thief’s arrest.
Without these photographs, it is highly likely that the thief could still be ‘on the loose’!