Armed gold shop robber forced to do crime re-enactment in full PPE hazmat suit


An armed robber who leapt over a gold shop counter and stole jewellery was forced to do a crime re-enactment in full PPE wearing a hazmat suit.

Soldier Worathon Sompang, 21, was reportedly on a leave from the army but he had no money for a return bus to the camp so he used a handgun to rob the store in Nonthaburi province on April 24.

The draftee took more than 500 grams worth of gold necklaces that cost 950,000 baht (21,845 GBP) after quickly jumping over the counter and fleeing in less than a minute.

He wore a hooded jacket to cover his face and carried a gun to the shop which terrified the employees and customers who ran away to escape.

Worathon was arrested three days later on April 27 after the police traced his hiding place by following him through the security cameras on the road.

He confessed and was taken on a crime re-enactment on Thursday (April 29) wearing full PPE including a white hazmat suit and face mask. Wearing the medical equipment, he showed how he pointed the gun at terrified shop assistants and ripped the gold jewellery from the shelves.

Police General Suchart Theerasawat who was part of the investigating team handling the case said the man immediately went home to his apartment before selling some of the gold.

He said: ‘He rode a motorcycle to Pathum Thani province and left it on the road before taking a bus to his apartment. He hid some of the gold in his room and sold some afterwards. He later fled to Loei province.’

The man reportedly gave the remaining gold to his uncle who raised him and helped him sell some of the pieces for 49,000 baht (1,126 GBP) but was later caught by the police and officers recovered some of the stolen items.

Speaking to local media, Worathon said he was supposed to return to the military base on April 15 but he had no money.

He said: ‘I was recently recruited as a soldier and left the service for a month. I was supposed to return to the military base but I had no money.

‘I only used a fake gun to rob the gold shop. I travelled on foot to the shopping mall and forced a couple to give me a motorcycle to escape.’

Worathon was charged with robbery and carrying a weapon in a public place without authorisation. He would be remanded in police custody while investigations are ongoing.