Malls To Increase Security After Woman Murdered In Parking Lot

Family of Ms. Ponpan Promchan holding her pictures.

(6 June) The body of Ms.
Ponpan Promcharn, 23, who was murdered in a supermarket′s parking lot in Bangkok, is cremated today
in her hometown of Nongbualumpoo province.

The funeral and the cremation were held at Sa
Pung Thong temple in Nong Pla Khao village. Next to her coffin is a brown bear doll; Ms. Pongpan′s
family said it was her favorite toy.

Ms. Ponpan, known by the media as ?Nong (little
sister) Yim?, was walking to her car in Tesco Lotus supermarket in Bangkok′s Bangkapi area on 4 June
when she was attacked by a knife-wielding man. Ms. Ponpan′s throat was slit, her body dumped into
her car, which the attacker drove to a motel in Nonthaburi province, intending to hide the body
there.

However, a staff at the motel spotted the dead body and called the police. The suspect
was later arrested. He confessed that he intended to rob Ms. Ponpan but she fought back, so he
killed her with his knife. Nonthaburi Provincial Court ordered the suspect detained for 12 days and
denied him bail, citing serious nature of the case.

Although Thailand is not unfamiliar to
violent crimes, the murder of Ms. Ponpan came as a shock to many, especially women in urban areas
who feared for their safety. Shopping malls and supermarkets are ubiquitous in urban Thailand – a
place for friends and families to hang out and dine and shop.

Bangkok Metropolitan Police
deputy chief Pol.Maj.Gen.Manit Wongsomboon said in an interview that the police have talked to many
shopping malls? security teams for better protection of citizens, for example, increasing the number
of security guards and CCTVs, and increasing the number of patrols, along with how to spot a
suspicious person who walks around in the parking lot but does not purchase anything.

He
said malls that do not yet have sufficient security guards will be provided extra police patrol. The
police stations that don’t have enough police officers will call for more volunteer workers to
patrol the area.

“I want to warn citizens, especially women that park in the shopping mall
parking lots to look around to see if there is anything unusual before actually unlocking their car.
In cases where the customer has a lot of merchandise that needs to be loaded into the car, it is
always good to ask the security guard to help or to accompany them.”, said the Deputy Metropolitan
Police Commissioner.

On the same day, Ek – Chai Distribution System Co., Ltd., owner of Tesco
Lotus department stores, expressed that the company is very upset about the incident and have
cooperated fully with the police in checking the details in the recording of the CCTV installed in
the parking area to be used as evidence on the case.

Tesco Lotus focuses on the security of
life and property of the customers who use their services and has security measures such as CCTV,
according to the statement. It insists that its parking area has adequate lighting, but the company
will consider other measures as appropriate and will continue to cooperate fully with the inquiry
into the perpetrators according to law.