Snatch and grab theft from unwary tourists has become an outright epidemic plague in Pattaya in recent weeks. Granted, it’s not really a new trick but incidents have been getting more and more frequent, prompting police to warn foreign tourists to be “extremely careful.”
So far this month, only we have covered four separate incidents (and we’re sure there are more that have gone unreported) where tourists had either their handbag or a gold necklace snatched from around their neck as they were stretching their legs around Pattaya, usually (though not exclusively) late at night.
This list has now grown longer again, with two more drive-by snatch and grab thefts reported to Pattaya police in less than 24 hours. As on the four previous occasions, the culprits in both cases were Thai teenagers riding a motorcycle who would pull alongside their victims and snatch and grab everything but the kitchen sink.
In the first case, a Vietnamese tourist who was visiting Pattaya with a group of friends had her bag snatched by two Thai men on a motorcycle as she and a male friend were walking about in the Central Pattaya area just after midnight on Sunday.
Aside from important documents and a brand-new IPhone 6, the woman was reportedly carrying 15,000 Baht in cash, one million Vietnamese Dong (approx. 15,700 Baht) and 300 US dollars in her purse.
In the second case – reported to police less than 24 hours later, just after midnight on Monday – a 56-year-old British tourist had a gold necklace valued at 60,000 Baht snatched from around his neck when a young Thai man on a motorcycle pulled alongside the victim and his wife as they were crossing the road near Tops Supermarket in Central Pattaya.
According to Pattaya One, the British couple were on their way back to their hotel at the time and the drive-by theft “happened so quickly [that the victim] found it impossible to clearly remember the all too brief look he got at the miscreant.”
Pattaya One note that police have now issued an outright warning for tourists in Pattaya to beware of snatch and grab thieves as the “crimes of late bear the hallmarks of professional thieves.”
Now we don’t know why anyone in their right mind would carry an expensive necklace or more cash on them than they really need after dark in Pattaya, but judging from the most recent cases there’s not really a shortage of blockheads in town and the warning is more than justified.