A 25 year old American became the latest foreigner to lose the run of himself in Thailand on Friday night last when he drove off in a private speed boat on the island of Koh Phi Phi Leh committing a serious criminal offence. The drunken young man left the stolen craft 15 km away on the larger island of Koh Phi Phi Don outside the Holiday Inn hotel. It was found to have both external and engine damage estimated at ฿350,000. As Parker Wilson Bishop carried on with his holiday moving on to Bangkok on Sunday, little did he know that the Thai police and a criminal investigation into his escapade were on his heels. On Tuesday, as he attempted to leave the kingdom, they both caught up with him.
A 25 year old American backpacker who stole a speedboat last Friday on Koh Phi Phi Leh island in Krabi while drunk and determined to drive his own boat back to the larger Phi Phi Don island, was arrested on Tuesday as he attempted to leave Thailand. Parker Wilson Bishop was detained by immigration police on foot of an arrest warrant issued by a Krabi provincial court in south west Thailand the same day by the Thai court. The young backpacker who was holidaying on the islands with up to 6 friends, now faces the real prospect of criminal prosecution for the theft of the ฿1 million craft if charges are pressed against him. He remains in custody.
A 25 year old US man is in serious trouble in Thailand this week. The young American, named as Parker Wilson Bishop, was arrested by immigration officers the Royal Thai Police at Suvarnabhumi Airport when he attempted to board his flight home on Tuesday evening after an eventful holiday in Thailand. Thai police had known he was in Bangkok since April 21st but waited until he attempted to leave the country to act while also awaiting a court warrant to be issued in Krabi province for his arrest. The warrant number 199/2562 was subsequently issued on Tuesday prior to immigration police detaining him at the air terminal.
American stole a speedboat on Koh Phi Phi Leh
The warrant relates to an incident which iccurred on last Friday 19th of April in which it is alleged that the American stole a speed boat on Phi Phi Leh island in the Strait of Malacca within Krabi province. He is also accused causing breakage to the speedboat as well as serious engine damage.
Complaint filed quickly with Thai police by the owner of the craft after US man drive it off across the sea
Reports from Krabi say that Thai police were notified by Apisit Saengchan, the owner of the craft, on the April 19th that the vessel had been driven away by a US traveler from its mooring at Loh Dalum Bay on the island of Phi Phi Leh. It is reported from the island that the young man appeared inebriated when he jumped into the craft and drove off while its driver’s attention was elsewhere. The driver of the boat shouted after him but was ignored. The owner of the speedboat subsequently identified the person who had taken it as a US man when making a complaint to Thai police after making enquiries. The case was investigated by Deputy Police Chief on Koh Phi Phi, Lieutenant Colonel Chalermchai Hiraswasdi. The speedboat is thought to be valued at ฿1,000,000 which is a large amount of money to most Thai people and which makes the criminal offence more serious. It is also property being used by a local operator to make a livelihood.
American was reported to be agitated at his inability to rent a self driving speed boat in order to return to Koh Phi Phi Don last Friday
One report from the Phi Phi island suggests that Thai police interviewed a friend or acquaintance of the American on the island as part of their investigations into the theft of the craft. He explained that the young 25 year old seemed put out by his inability to rent a boat on Phi Phi that he could drive himself. It is reported that he asked that enquiries be made from other hotels after his own hotel could not assist him. It is believed that the young man became agitated and vociferous by the inability to find a self driving craft. He felt compelled to return to the main island as part of his travel plans. Boat operators on the island do not provide such a service due the fears of damage to the expensive boats.
Police search and investigation mounted to find boat and thief who took it
Thai police mounted a search for the craft and subsequently found it on the larger island island of Phi Phi Don parked in front of the Holiday Inn hotel located in Laem Tong Bay. The craft had traveled 15 km driven by Parker Wilson Bishop. Staff of the boat hire company later retrieved the boat and found that it had suffered external damage as well as damage to the craft’s engine. The estimate for damage to the speedboat is ฿350,000 ($11,000).
Police identified the culprit as Parker Wilson Bishop, a US backpacker holidaying with friends
Thai police identified the American as Parker Wilson Bishop after checking CCTV footage and discovered that he had been staying in a hotel on Phi Phi Lay with up to 6 friends. They subsequently discovered that he had left the islands on Saturday April 20th and had booked into a hotel in Bangkok on April 21st.
US man faces serious consequences if criminal charges are pressed and he is prosecuted in this case, up to 5 years in prison
The young American now faces criminal prosecution for the theft of the boat and criminal damage. These are very serious matters in Thailand with severe jail terms on conviction. In the case of the American, it could be up to five years in prison. He will also be expected to compensate the owner of the boat for the damage caused. In the meantime, the young man must negotiate the Thai criminal justice system if charges are pressed in the matter.
Young tourist’s Friday escapade on Phi Phi islands is prime time news in Thailand
The story has made national TV in Thailand where the theft of private property is considered a very serious matter. The audacious theft of a speedboat from its driver and moorings has made it prime time news in the kingdom. TV and media reports show the American carrying backpacks and walking in market with a Thai woman as Thai police followed his tracks. The reports also show him shirtless and sporting a prominent tattoo of what appears to be a dinosaur on his left arm.