Snatch and Stash: Police Find Brit’s Trove of Stolen Goods on Phuket

Charlie Machin at the Choeng Thale Police Station Friday morning.

PHUKET — A British man was arrested Friday on suspicion of preying on other foreign tourists to accumulate a hoard of stolen goods at his island residence.

Police arrested Charlie Machin, 53, at 1am at his rented house in the island’s Thalang district after police identified him as a suspect in the burglary of another foreign man’s home.

“He’s a tourist who regularly enters and exits Thailand. We received complaints about various items being continually stolen in our area and traced them back to him,” police Lt. Col. Sa-ard Wongwianjun said Friday.

One of the items stolen was an iPhone 6. Police used its GPS to track it to Machin’s residence where they took him into custody.


A search of the dwelling turned up the missing smartphone, as well as other allegedly stolen goods including an iPad, Canon camera, Macbook, two brown wallets, four passports, ring of keys, portable hard drive, black messenger bag, Yamaha motorbike and another iPhone 6.

Sa-ard said Machin has confessed to stealing some of the stockpiled loot.

But that wasn’t all. After he was brought to the station, Machin told police he in fact had many more stolen goods hidden in his house. After conducting a second search, police had recovered a total 53 items.

Only a few items had been reclaimed so far.


“One of the obstacles we’re now facing is that his victims were other tourists, and many have already gone home, so they can’t reclaim their items,” Sa-ard said.

Police said anyone who suspects the Briton may have gaffled their goods can inquire at the Choeng Thale Police Station.

According to Sa-ard, Machin will be charged with theft.