Police this week only convinced the irate elderly man to surrender by promising him access to key media programmes to vent his point of view after he murdered the new owner of his home and later fired on police who tried to storm the foreclosed property in a failed attempt to force him out.
Legal experts in Thailand are urging any person buying property linked with bank foreclosure proceedings to bring in professionals to make sure the property being purchased is, first of all, secure from its previous owner after a woman was murdered this week in Pathum Thani in an ongoing dispute with the former owner of a foreclosed property she purchased last year. The woman was gunned down by the 66-year-old man after she tried to persuade him to find another place to live and vacate her property.
Thailand’s Lawyer Council is warning second-hand house purchasers who buy properties from banks linked with foreclosure proceedings to make sure to use a lawyer to facilitate the process step by step including the removal of the previous owner and detention by police if required.
It follows the murder on Tuesday afternoon of a 52-year-old woman who purchased a house in the Thanyaburi district of Pathum Thani.
Shot multiple times by the former owner of the foreclosed property suffering wounds to the head and the body before slumping on the roadside at the home
She was shot dead with wounds to her body and head by the former owner of the property who continued to occupy it for approximately a year after she had taken over legal title to it.
It appears that the owner had pursued the matter legally and obtained a relevant warrant from the local Provincial Court but it may not have been executed or followed up with an order for the arrest and detention of the former owner who legally at that point, became a squatter.
On Wednesday, Mr Weerasak Chotiwanich, the Deputy spokesman for the Lawyers Council Of Thailand advised anyone pursuing such a course to obtain a court order for the arrest and detention of any former owner or squatter who refuses to remove themselves from a property rather than trying to negotiate the matter themselves.
Deadly incident unfolded after noon on Tuesday as the woman and a daughter tried to enter the home in Thanyaburi ordering him to vacate the premises
On Tuesday, just after noon, the 52-year-old woman who had purchased the house last year, along with a daughter, approached the one-story townhouse in the Bueng Nam Rak Sub District of Thanyaburi District in Pathum Thani.
The 66-year-old occupier and former owner, identified by locals as Mr Decha, it is understood, had lived in the property for the last twenty years and refused to vacate it despite it being foreclosed on by a bank which sold it on to the Thai woman.
She was chased from the property by an armed and violent Mr Decha who opened fire when she was outside it, on the road.
She fell to the ground mortally wounded and inert. It is reported that the armed killer emerged to stand over the body at that point before retreating into the house and shutting an iron door.
Residents approached the body in a slumped position to see if the woman was dead and raised the alarm by summoning officers at Thanyaburi Police Station
Her body was left there as some residents approached and tried to confirm if the woman was deceased while police from Thanyaburi Police Station were summoned.
The call was received at the station by Police Lieutenant Siripong Apiwan, Deputy Chief of Investigation who raised the alarm.
Police led by Police Colonel Jirawat Piam Pinset were quickly at the scene and established that the killer was refusing to surrender himself and threatening to shoot anyone who entered the house against his will.
It took police about one hour to commence negotiations with the 66-year-old Mr Decha who residents divulged has long exhibited a preference for being left alone or to himself.
They established that the new house owner had visited the property she purchased from the bank on several occasions trying to convince the 66-year-old to surrender it up and find somewhere else to live but to no avail.
Police chief briefs reporters on the background of the case before a failed effort to force the man to surrender saw officers shot at by the crazed man
Police Colonel Jirawat briefed reporters on how the middle-aged woman had died and the background to the case.
‘It turns out that Mr Decha used a gun to shoot 4 to 5 bullets at the deceased and then walked out and shot again before walking back to the house. For this house, Mr Decha has been living for 20 years, not associating with anyone. His daughter had come to live with him many times, but he refused to go until he shot the new owner of the property with his firearm. There is still a warrant from the Thanyaburi Provincial Court to enforce the case closed in front of the house.’
Later in the afternoon, police launched an operation to seize the man in the house when officers armed with bulletproof shields and helmets were repulsed by the crazed man with a bullet hitting one of the shields and an officer’s helmet in the exchange.
Surrendered on a promise of media exposure
Finally, approximately eight hours after the brutal and tragic murder of the 52-year-old victim, police were able to persuade Mr Decha to surrender by promising him access to well-known media outlets and programmes to explain his side of the story.
A car was sent to collect the man outside the house and he was taken to the investigation department of Thanyaburi Police Station where he was arrested and questioned.
He faces a range of serious charges including one of premeditated murder of the house owner.