By Khanathit Srihirundaj
Police said they had captured two suspects – alleged mastermind Nop-anan Phusitrungroj and accomplice Wutthichai – and had retrieved 108 items worth Bt4 million of the 141 stolen items.
Nop-anan, 52, was arrested on May 4 in Chaiyaphum province, leading to the arrest of Wutthichai, 32, on Tuesday in Samut Sakhon province, National Police deputy commissioner General Chalermkiat Srivorakan said.
The third suspect, identified only by his nickname Ton, is believed to be in hiding in Kanchanaburi province, said Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Lt-General Sutthipong Wongpin.
Sutthipong said Nop-anan and Wutthichai, neither of whom had a criminal history, claimed financial problems had driven them to commit the robbery.
The robbery was allegedly carried out by the three suspects at 8am on May 2 when pawnshop owner Sirichai Asaipanich, 61, was opening the shop along with a female assistant.
Sirichai was hit on the head with the butt of a firearm before the robbers grabbed the valuables and fled on two motorcycles.
During the re-enactment, Wutthichai showed how he had raided the shop, hit Sirichai on the head, grabbed the valuables and fled. He reportedly showed how they divided the stolen items in Phetchkasem Soi 83 before splitting up. Wutthichai has appeared before the Thon Buri Criminal Court.
Shop assistant Jarenee Sudsaeng recognised Nop-anan as a previous customer. He had bought a TV, but required advice on how to use it and pawned a tablet at the shop.
She said the man had also visited on April 25, asking the shop to give him another copy of the tablet ticket, as he had lost the previous one.
During the robbery, Nop-anan wore a full-head helmet but she said she remembered his eyes, voice and smell of after shave.
Thanking police for a swift arrest and an 80 per cent retrieval of valuables, Sirichai said he would install metal bars and ban customers from wearing helmets and hats.