Mae Sot gold shop owners grab guns after armed robberies on border
Mae Sot police are providing firearms training to owners of gold shops in Tak after a spate of armed robberies in the western border province. Three gold shops in the province have been held up at gunpoint in recent months as conflict between the junta and resistance forces rages just over the border in Myanmar.
The defensive training is being conducted as part of the Royal Thai Police’s crime suppression policy to ensure safe firearm usage among both police officers and civilians, said Mae Sot police chief Col Monsak Kae-On.
Gold shop owners who attended the training on Sunday at Ban Khang Phibal Firing Range in Mae Sot received comprehensive lessons on shooting, including the correct stance, how to safely hold the gun, how to aim and control breathing, and more.
Monsak gave details of three armed robberies at gold shops in the province this year. In February one customer was killed when robbers attacked a shop in Phop Phra district. Armed robbers then struck at gold shops in Muang district in May and this month.
In the latest robbery, on December 8, four robbers shot up a gold shop’s window, but the owner returned fire, wounding one suspect. Police managed to nab the wounded man and another suspect, while two robbers are believed to have fled across the border to Myanmar.
Monsak said there are about 25 gold shops in Mae Sot. All are expected to see brisk business around New Year, a traditional time to make gold purchases.
“Although there had been no armed robberies in the district in recent years, firearm training could be beneficial to shop owners to protect their life and property in emergency, especially during the New Year holidays,” Monsak said.