Police apprehended two men involved in two separate robbery incidents on Wednesday, as they attempted to make off with over 7 million baht worth of gold ornaments.
In the first incident, Butpiya Bangtonglang, a 35-year-old resident of Bangkok, entered the Yaowarat Krungthep Gold Shop in Phra Samut Chedi district of Samut Prakan province at 1.40pm. The suspect managed to persuade the shop owner to open the security door by posing as a potential seller of a gold necklace and a gold-framed amulet. Once inside, the man brandished a 9mm pistol, forcing the shop staff to fill his bag with gold ornaments.
Mr Butpiya soon realised that he had been locked inside the room. He then fired multiple shots at the remote-controlled glass door, eventually breaking it and making his escape from the shop.
At the same moment two patrolling policemen arrived at the scene and witnessed the incident. The officers opened fire on the fleeing suspect while he was attempting to escape on his motorcycle.
The robber sustained a gunshot wound to the neck and failed to make off with two baskets of gold rings valued at over 5 million baht. He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
In the second incident, Nithinan Thanaweerawacharakul, 35, targeted another branch of Yaowarat Krungthep Gold Shop in Bang Kae district of Bangkok at 2.45pm.
Police said Mr Nithinan threatened the staff with what appeared to be a firearm, later determined to be a toy gun. The suspect managed to make off with about 60 gold necklaces with an estimated worth of 2.4 million baht. He fled the scene in a car and returned to his room in Bang Bua Thong district of Nonthaburi province. Police arrested him there.
During questioning, Mr Nithinan confessed to committing the crime due to his unemployment. The suspect said he previously worked as a security guard.
He also admitted to attempting to target another gold shop but was unsuccessful as the staff refused to open the door. Consequently, he opted for the subsequent shop, which lacked a security door or a security cage.