16-Year-Old Cambodian Girl Arrested for Theft in Pattaya

Pattaya's Walking Street in a 2013 photo. Photo: Vishwanath Hawargi / Flickr

PATTAYA — A Cambodian teenager was arrested for allegedly pickpocketing foreign tourists in the resort town of Pattaya.

The 16-year-old suspect, now held in a children’s shelter home until her trial, was arrested Tuesday night and accused of entering Thailand on Thursday to go on a stealing spree with a number of accomplices police have been unable to identify.

“Based on her story under questioning; she works with her gang,” Col. Apichai Krobpetch, head of Pattaya City Police Station, said Wednesday. “But the CCTV only managed to capture [a clear] image of her. Footage of the other suspects was blurry, it’s not clear enough to see who they are, so we’re expanding the investigation.”

According to Apichai, the 16-year-old minor stole something from a Chinese tourist on Saturday, and police tracked her down after the victim filed a complaint.

He believes she and her suspected accomplices may be responsible for similar crimes during the past week.

Apichai said that the suspect was interrogated in the presence of social workers in accordance with the law on minor suspects and then sent to a state-run shelter home.

She has been charged with stealing at night, which carries a tougher penalty than daytime theft.

He added that the girl entered Thailand legally.