PATTAYA: 37-year-old Roger Wasuwat told police that he lost his job as a tour guide over the Covid 19 virus emergency and needed cash to pay for his PTSD medication. A background check of Mr Roger who is a US Thai national, revealed that he speaks 5 languages and is a former gang member in his past life in the West Coast of the United States.

Thai police have arrested a US Thai national in Pattaya and charged him with an armed robbery early Thursday morning on a 7 Eleven outlet in the Banglamung area of the city.

Police escort 37-year-old Roger Wasuwat back to the 7 Eleven store on Sunday to carry out a crime reenactment of his armed robbery on March 26th in which he used a BB gun to get away with ฿5,000. (Inset left) Heavily armed officers on Thursday and over the weekend in Pattaya staged a show of force with proactive policing to ward off any further criminal acts driven by the Covid 19 virus.

A 37-year-old US Thai man who returned to the kingdom some years ago has emerged as the 7 Eleven armed robber who sent Thai police and authorities into a state of high alert on Thursday morning as they warned the public about a potential crime wave due to the Covid 19 virus outbreak.

Over the weekend, heavily armed police were seen in a ‘proactive’ police effort to deter crime during the state of emergency period.

The police supposition was not far off the mark.

The arrested man is well known to many foreigners in Pattaya who know him as an otherwise charming employee of a local tour guide company.

Brought back to 7 Eleven in Banglamung on Sunday to stage a crime reenactment at the store

The man was named by police on Sunday as they carried out a reenactment of the crime. He is Roger Wasuwat.

A combined police task force comprising of the Chonburi Investigation Unit and police from Banglamung led by the Director of Police at that location, Police Colonel Pattanachai Phamornphibun, tracked the man to a rented house at Soi Map Bon also in the Banglamung district of Pattaya.

3 days for a police task force to get their man

It took the police three days of intensive investigation to find their way to the armed robber’s door.

Mr Roger quickly admitted his guilt in committing the crime. He even extended a wai to officers by way of an apology for his wrongdoing.

The 37-year-old told police that he had lost his job due to the Covid 19 outbreak at a local tour company. He said he needed money urgently to live and pay for medication for a post-traumatic stress disorder he suffers from.

Past life as an LA gang member revealed by police

We are not sure of the details of Mr Roger’s PTSD affliction but police have revealed that he has a prior history of criminality in Los Angeles where he spent the larger portion of his life to date. 

LA is home to the biggest Thai expatriate population in the United States. Mr Roger was a noted gang member in the city during his past life.

Police also revealed that their suspect, who they are readying to throw the charge book at, speaks five languages.

Carried out the heist with a BB gun, came away with ฿5,000 for his dangerous early morning escapade

He explained to officers that he had purchased a BB gun to execute the armed robbery and afterwards disposed of it and the clothing he was wearing. His total takings from the robbery was a meagre ฿5,000.

Heavy price now to be paid.  Mr Roger faces jail for up to 5 years as there are aggravating circumstances

The robbery could see Mr Roger facing up to five years in prison considering that he was carrying what will be argued as a weapon and that the offence was committed at night.

These are aggravating circumstances.

However, Mr Roger can claim some special mitigating aspects of the crime because of his financial and medical condition if this can be proved. Also, the relatively minor amount taken from the heist.

Nevertheless, he could still serve up to three years for this serious criminal act committed during a time of emergency.

Police have charged him with armed robbery as well as weapons offences for carrying the BB gun in public and using a vehicle to make his getaway from the 7 Eleven store early last Thursday morning.

Join the Thai News forum, follow Thai Examiner on Facebook here
Receive all our stories as they come out on Telegram here
Follow Thai Examiner here

Further reading:

Armed Pattaya police patrolling the resort city in force with fears of a spike in crime over virus shutdown

Fast turnaround at Bangkok Bank as armed robber walks out with ฿400,000 in Friday afternoon heist

Disabled German robbed by stealth in Pattaya by a thief that he took to be a kind hearted woman offering a hand

Pattaya’s Russian tourists targeted by motorcycle snatch gang as the city’s hotels struggle with lower occupancy

UK tourist just arrived in Pattaya for 2020 arrested for at least two thefts in five days by police on his trail

Pattaya police track Thai woman believed to have stolen a disabled Canadian’s wallet at the beach