CHIANG RAI – A Malaysian man has been arrested in Chiang Rai, suspected of snatching a New Zealand woman’s handbag in broad daylight.
According to Sgt Maj Kittidej Khothawee, the 46-year-old suspect,Asri Awng, from Penang Malaysia, was nabbed at 9am local time while trying to escape after committing the alleged theft.
Sgt Maj Kittidej Khothawee said he was directing traffic at the Mae Fah Luang airport intersection on Sept 6, when he saw Miss Madeline Campbell from New Zealand chasing the man who was running from a passenger bus at the intersection. The man was seen throwing away a bag.
Sgt Maj Kittidej caught up with the man and overpower him to the ground. Upon a search of the man he found a Bt1,000 note in his back pocket.
Mr. Awng told Chiang Rai police he was taking the Mae Sai bus to Bangkok and noticed the woman was carrying an expensive bag, so he decided to snatch it when the bus was slowing down at the intersection
The suspect, said he arrived in Chiang Rai six days ago to locate his Thai wife but failed before running out of money and committed the crime to sustain his livelihood.
The police seized his Malaysian identity card but not his passport as he alleged he had thrown it away.
Police also confirmed the Malaysian had overstayed his tourist visa as he entered Thailand in May last year.
He now faces Overstay, theft and assault charges that carry up to a seven-year jail sentence.
Miss Madeline Campbell, suffered bruises on her arms and knees when she fell during the chase.