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Pattaya Police Find Truck Used in Brazen Escape by Three Convicts

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PHOTO: The pickup truck used by three escapees, two Thais and an American, found Tuesday.

The pickup truck used by three convicts who shot a policeman and escaped from Pattaya Court was found Tuesday. Police have also reported the arrest of two people suspected aiding in the brazen escape.

Police found the silver Isuzu about 1pm. It had been abandoned in the Rojana Industrial Park in Pattaya. It was near the home of Noi Nilthes, 40, one of the three prisoners who fled the court on Monday afternoon.

The other two fugitives are American national Bart Allen Helmus, 39, and his Thai wife Sirinapa Wisetrit, 30. The three were among 14 inmates from the Special Prison at Nong Pla Lai in Bang Lamung district who were transported to Pattaya Court for trial on Monday.

Pattaya police said it appeared an accomplice picked up the three fugitives in another vehicle in tambon Bowin, abetting their escape.

From there they could easily travel on to Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo or Chanthaburi provinces and try to sneak out of the country. Police had been ordered to intercept them on possible escape routes.

Detectives are also looking for people who might have assisted them in their escape, and have detained two suspects.

A source said they were a couple, identified only as Max and On. They were tasked with leaving an Isuzu pickup truck in the industrial estate.

Somkid Noikerdme, a security guard at Rojana Industrial Park, said a man aged about 30 had parked the truck in the industrial estate. He placed a steel cutting tool inside the cab, and then rode off on a motorcycle driven by a woman.

Facing More Charges for Escaping Pattaya Court

Meanwhile, the Pattaya Court and Pattaya police are investigating how the fugitives managed to obtain the knife and gun used in their escape.

Pol Capt Thanamet Phothiphan was stabbed and a pistol was fired upwards to pave the way for the fugitives. Mr Suriyan said the police officer remained in an intensive care unit on Tuesday.

American, Bart Allen Helmus and his Thai wife were charged with possessing one kilogram of crystal meth and a firearm. In a separate case Mr Noi was also charged with possessing crystal meth and ketamine and a firearm. All three convicts offences carry the death penalty.

Pol Col Thanapong Phothi, said the three also faced five more charges resulting from their escape. Including attempted murder of a police officer and the illegal use of weapons, the Bangkok Post reported.