It is not the first such incident. In  2006, a German man held up the Siam Commercial Bank in Pattaya while in 2013 an American made off with ฿38,000 from a Bangkok Bank in Nonthaburi after handing a teller a note which said that he had a gun.

A middle-aged western caucasian man has been arrested in Bangkok following the armed robbery of a bank currency exchange kiosk in the city’s Sukhumvit area on Wednesday. The man used a knife to intimidate the lone staff member into handing over ฿60,000 in cash.

Police escorted the western man back to the scene of the crime on Thursday after he was tracked down and arrested by police from Thonglor Police Station in Bangkok and officers with the Immigration Bureau. He is facing serious criminal charges for robbing the bank facility with a weapon.

Thai police have arrested an English speaking foreigner who on Wednesday afternoon held up a foreign currency exchange kiosk in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok after threatening a woman working as a teller.

Immigration bureau called in within hours

The investigation was led by Thonglor police. Officers at the Immigration Bureau were called in hours after the shocking incident. The man produced a sharp knife to threaten the staff member after first enquiring about exchange rates on offer. The woman was still in an overwhelmed state when police quickly arrived after the alarm was raised at the location in Phrom Phong. She told police officers that the attacker spoke in English.

CCTV footage tracked the culprit

It is understood that police used CCTV footage to track the motorbike on which the suspect fled the crime scene after taking ฿60,000 in cash made up of Thai baht, yen and dollars.

Full identity has not yet been released

The man’s name has not been released yet but police have released photos of the suspect from the location where he was taken back to on Thursday.

The kiosk is run by the Government Savings Bank and is near the EmQuartier Shopping centre popular with foreigners in the Sukhumvit area of the city. The robber is a white caucasian who looks to be in his 50s.

Woman on duty resisted his efforts to open the safe

Yesterday, he wore a blue face mask, brown baseball hat with a white T-Shirt and blue pants as he carried out the robbery. After intimidating the woman, he attempted to gain access to the kiosk safe but she managed to resist him before he took the available cash and ran off.

The Government Savings Bank facility at the site is made up of automatic dispensers but has one manned exchange point to the rear. Police noted on Wednesday that there were no security guards.

Facing criminal charges for a series of criminal offences including the use of a weapon

The investigation into the robbery is being led by Police Major Siriyot Sophon and senior officers are reported to be satisfied that the man was tracked down and arrested quite quickly. He will now face serious charges and criminal proceedings in connection with the crime in which a weapon was used and money taken from the bank facility.

Not the first western foreigner to rob a bank in Thailand and all have been caught

It is not the first time an armed bank robbery has been carried out by a western foreigner in Thailand.

In 2006, German man Mr Heinrich Becker held up a Siam Commercial Bank in Pattaya. In 2013, an American got away with ฿38,000 at a Bangkok Bank branch in Nonthaburi on a motorbike but he too was quickly apprehended. He handed a short note to the bank teller which said ‘I have a gun and knife, fill the bag quickly’ and fled into a nearby shopping centre to make his escape. 

Further reading:

Despicable western foreigner sought by Pattaya police after the theft of ฿2,000 from a Thai woman

Pattaya plagued by foreign thieves preying on Thai locals and tourists as French man is arrested for theft

Bizarre antics of hippie western foreigners in Chiang Mai draws attention online and on TV news

Clash of two worlds: French couple accused of theft in Thailand

Begpacking is shameless behaviour that is outlawed in Thailand and poisons goodwill between cultures