A total of 10 crimes were reported to the Vientiane Public Security Headquarters during this year’s boat racing festival with pickpocketing being the most common misdemeanour.
A senior Headquarters official said that from October 14-17 they were notified of nine cases of pickpocketing and one motorbike theft.
The cash and valuables lost were estimated to be worth 3,800,000 kip along with 12,000 Thai baht in stolen cash. Police said fewer items were stolen this year because the festival lasted for only four days, compared to seven days last year.
Police also ensured a strong security presence and stationed over 2,000 police, soldiers and students around the festival area to be on the alert for miscreants.
Vientiane Public Security Headquarters said that last year’s boat racing festival ran from October 22-28 when eight thefts were reported. These involved five incidents of bag snatching, two cases of pickpocketing, and one other theft.
The cash and valuables lost included 14,600 Thai baht, US$200, 1,000 Euro and almost 8 million kip, as well as one mobile phone. Police arrested two men and a woman in connection with the thefts.
In the run up to the That Luang Festival next month, police are warning festival goers to take full precautions regarding safety and security and to be on the lookout for pickpockets and bag snatchers. Police said most thieves worked in teams and appeared to be well prepared.
Police are also planning to have a strong presence at the That Luang Festival on November 14 to prevent criminal activities.
Throughout Vientiane police reported 21 crimes during the four days of the boat racing festival. They solved 13 of the crimes and arrested 22 people, most of whom were charged with theft.
Source: Vientiane Times