Police yesterday approved the temporary release of a 45-year-old pregnant woman who is facing theft charges after she refused to return an iPhone to its owner in Chon Buri province.
Saifon Moonchan was bailed out with a 50,000-baht surety yesterday after she was charged with theft.
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Police will wrap up the case and forward it to prosecutors at Pattaya Provincial Court tomorrow.
The charges were brought against Ms Saifon after Nuengruethai Naka, 34, on Friday lodged a complaint against the woman for allegedly stealing her iPhone 7 Plus in Pattaya the same day.
According to Ms Nuengruethai’s account, she forgot her mobile phone at a convenience store in Pattaya.
Ms Saifon, who found her phone, later called Ms Nuengruethai’s younger sister and demanded 5,000 baht in exchange for the iPhone.
Ms Nuengruethai returned to the store and negotiated down the rate to 1,000 baht but Ms Saifon declined the offer, claiming she wanted to discuss the issue at a police station as her friend was also an officer.
Ms Nuengruethai later decided to file a complaint.
Meanwhile, Pol Col Aphichai Krobphet, chief of Muang Pattaya police, yesterday said his team went to the store on Friday after being alerted to the incident.
Upon arriving, they found Ms Nuengruethai and Ms Saifon in a heated argument over the mobile phone.
Pol Col Aphichai said even though officers tried to explain to Ms Saifon that her action was considered a crime, the suspect insisted she had a right to demand the money as she did not steal the phone but had found it.
Therefore, officers had to detain Ms Saifon, who was later bailed out by her relatives.
According to the officer, whoever finds and keeps an item that is not theirs and refuses to give it back to its rightful owner is a dishonest person and a criminal.