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Four charged over family’s truck hijack ordeal at gas station

Four charged over family’s truck hijack ordeal at gas station

MONDAY, August 29, 2016
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Four suspects who allegedly hijacked a pickup truck from a Saraburi gas station after forcibly ejecting a woman and her two young daughters from the vehicle are in custody, Provincial Police Region 1 chief Pol Lt-General Chaiwat Ketworachai said yesterday

Over the weekend, Watcharapong Chomherm, 29, was arrested in Phuket, while Chatchai Raksa, 19, garage owner Narong Thianchai, 42, and a 17-year-old referred to by the alias “Em” were arrested in Sa Kaew.
The suspects’ getaway vehicle, a Toyota Vios sedan, and the damaged Isuzu D-Max pickup truck were also recovered.
At 5am last Wednesday, Boonleua Jaewprathok and wife Patcharin Sae-tiew, both 32, alerted police about the theft at a Nong Khae district gas station, where they had stopped with their daughters aged 4 and 9.
Boonleua, who had been driving to Phetchabun, went to use the gas station toilet, leaving his wife and children in the unlocked Isuzu truck with the engine running. 
Watcharapong then allegedly jumped into the driver’s seat and pointed a pen gun at one daughter and began to drive away.
Police said Patcharin fought for the steering wheel and Watcharapong punched her in the face before he pulled over 150 metres down the road. Chatchai then allegedly arrived in the sedan and forced Patcharin and the two girls out of the truck before the suspects fled with both vehicles.
Watcharapong, Chatchai and Em were arrested and confessed to the crime before leading police to Narong’s garage. 
Police are now looking for another alleged accomplice, Kawinnat Sithao, 47, who is believed to have assisted in selling the stolen pickup. Watcharapong’s wife, who owns the sedan used in the hijacking, was also being questioned.
Saraburi police chief Pol Maj-General Thiti Saengsawang said the suspects appeared to be involved in a racket that involved stealing cars to order for customers in a neighbouring country. He said the most popular choices were Isuzu and Toyota pickup trucks in new condition, which could be sold for Bt100,000.
Three of the suspects face charges of armed robbery and having a gun and ammunition in a public place without a reason. Narong faces a charge of taking a stolen item into his possession.