CHIANG MAI — A 33-year-old Thai man has been arrested for pick-pocketing tourists in Chiang Mai during this year’s annual Loy Krathong Festival, police say.
Santi Saelim allegedly used a knife to cut open tourists’ bags and purses and steal their belongings.
Police arrested Santi in downtown Chiang Mai on Sunday after a Chinese tourist reported that her purse was stolen while she was celebrating the lantern festival at the Wualai night-market that evening.
According to police, Santi was carrying the Chinese tourist’s purse and other valuable items like credit cards and identity cards, as well as the knives he allegedly used to carry out the thefts.
“There is sufficient evidence that Mr. Santi has committed the crime,” said Pol.Col.Suwat Kaewduangto, deputy commander of the police force in Chiang Mai.
Pol.Col.Suwat said police believe Santi has been stealing from tourists around Chiang Mai since 6 November with a network of other pick-pocketers who have been targeting foreign tourists. Police received at least 20 complaints of thefts from tourists over the weekend and are now working to locate other members of the network, Pol.Col.Suwat said.
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