As part of a pickpocketing gang, Sumaree Keemalae is seen on CCTV targeting tourists during crowded events, slashing backpacks, and stealing valuables in Pattaya.

In the early hours of April 19, Pattaya’s tourist police officers swiftly intervened and arrested Sumaree Keemalae, a 59-year-old woman, in the vicinity of Walking Street, following a targeted theft aimed at a foreign tourist during the Songkran festivities.

The incident unfolded as a Chinese tourist couple immersed themselves in the celebration along Walking Street. Sensing a disturbance with his backpack, initially dismissed as mere suspicion, the tourist soon discovered evidence of tampering. Upon closer inspection, he found his backpack slashed and valuables missing. Reacting quickly, the man managed to grab Sumaree, whom he suspected of perpetrating the theft, and handed her over to nearby tourist police authorities.

During interrogation, Sumaree admitted to her involvement in the crime and divulged insights into the pickpocketing operation. She disclosed her role as part of a four-person group systematically targeting unsuspecting tourists during crowded events. Each member had assigned tasks, with one distracting the victim while another executed the theft. However, Sumaree’s capture by the tourist thwarted the operation, leading to her arrest. Further investigations revealed Sumaree’s extensive criminal record, with seven prior cases linked to theft.

Pol. Lt. Col. Piyapong Ensan, chief of the Pattaya Tourist Police, voiced concerns for the safety of tourists in Pattaya and urged visitors to remain vigilant, especially regarding their belongings. Emphasizing the importance of proactive reporting, he encouraged tourists to promptly alert law enforcement to any suspicious activities. Additionally, security cameras strategically placed in the area captured clear footage of the incident, providing vital evidence for the ongoing investigation.

CCTV footage captures Sumaree discreetly slashing the backpack of a Chinese tourist who turns around just in time to prevent her escape after the theft attempt.

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