Police in Chiang Mai Thailand have arrested a 38 year-old Australian women for shoplifting goods from a shop in Warorot Market. The shop owner reported 5 pairs of 100 baht sunglasses and a 150 baht purse stolen.
Police said that after viewing CCTV footage, the shop owner saw the Australian woman had put the items into her purse and had driven away. The license plate was clearly visible of her car so she took the CCTV footage to the Chiang Mai police.
Chiang Mai Police then tracked her car on CCTV footage across the city and found her staying at a guesthouse near Wat Phra Singh.
They then secured an arrest warrant from the Chiang Mai Provincial Court and proceeded to the guesthouse to arrest the Australian woman. The Australian woman was identified as 38 year old Emily Catherine Duffel.
She was taken to Phong Police Station in Muang Chiang Mai where she will be formally charged with theft.
The Australian woman now faces imprisoned for up to 3 years and a fine of 6,000 Baht, according to Thai Media.
The 3 Things You Must Do If You Get Arrested in Thailand
Getting arrested in Thailand is a stressful event, so we advise you do the following 3 things as quickly as possible.
1. Do Not Sign Anything You Do Not Understand
The Thai police will most likely put a police report / charge sheet in front of you (in Thai language) to sign. Do not sign it. Nothing will happen to you if you do not sign. One of the best pieces of advice is to write on the document in English language, or whatever your native language is, the following statement; “I will not sign any document until I have a chance to consult with my legal representative.”
Please note that we highlighted the word “my” because the police may provide you with a so-called lawyer who is actually just another police officer or someone else.
It is always better to have a knowledgeable person present before you sign any document. The most common story we hear from a Thai police station is that the police officer says, “You sign; you go home!” This is almost never true.
Instead, call Thailand Bail (+66808734042 from a non-Thai phone, 0808734042 from a Thai phone) for free advice. A Thai Lawyer will speak to you and the police free of charge.
2. Call a Lawyer Specializing in Criminal Law
This seems obvious, but this is more challenging than you might think. You should contact a law firm or lawyer who knows how to deal with criminal matters. There are many law firms in Thailand, and most try to offer you “everything.”
It is not possible to be an expert in every area of law, so do not call a lawyer or law firm that does not specialize only in criminal law. Thailand Bail specializes in criminal law and other cases related to criminal law. Such as immigration law, blacklisting, and some civil cases. Thailand Bail also has expert experience dealing with the Thai police and the criminal courts in Thailand.
3. Find Money for Bail
If you are a foreigner who has been arrested in Thailand, you will need to find money for bail. If the case is serious enough that you have been arrested, then it means you will likely need to bail out. Bail can range from 10,000 Thai baht all the way up to 2,000,000 Thai baht.
Common bail amounts for theft can be from 50,000 Thai baht to 200,000 Thai baht. Depending on the details of the theft. Bail for drug cases depends on the category of drug you are being charged with; as even small amounts of category 1 drugs (methamphetamine, for example); can amount to automatic “possess with intent to sell” charges.
Bail for 1g of a category 1 drug is often 300,000 – 800,000 Thai baht. If it is possible to have your lawyer post bail at the police station. This is always advantageous, so contact a lawyer immediately to see what your options are.