Ex-Airport Worker Steals From German Tourist at Suvarnabhumi

Tourist police on March 16, 2020 point to photos of Piromya Sithan’s arrest.

BANGKOK — A former employee of Suvarnabhumi Airport was charged with theft Monday for allegedly stealing money and travel documents from a German tourist at the airport.

Police arrested and charged Piromya Sithan, 27, on Sunday for stealing from Sarah Johanna Abele, 28, a German tourist while she was napping on Saturday. Police said Piromya had knowledge of the airport security system, and changed her clothes after committing the theft to avoid detection, but investigators eventually tracked her down.

“Please don’t commit crimes against tourists, which are so few right now. Our economy is really bad too,” Tourist police Col. Surachat Suwanasri said by phone Monday.

Police said Abele arrived at the airport on Saturday four hours before her flight to go through Covid-19 testing, but found out that her flight was delayed, so she took a nap on the second floor of the airport.

When she woke up, Piromya had stolen her passport, credit cards, international driver’s license, and 250 euros or about 9,000 baht, mobile phone, and laptop, according to the police.

Police said they tracked Piromya down using CCTV footage. Piromya was arrested when she came back to the airport on Sunday with most of Abele’s items still with her.

“Only the money was gone. She’s low-educated, so she didn’t know what to do with the foreign credit cards and Macbook,” Surachat said.

Piromya was charged with nighttime theft in an airport which is punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of 2,000 to 10,000 baht. She reportedly confessed.

Piromya Sithan.
Sarah Johanna Abele.