Police in Koh Kong arrested 23 pickpockets before and during the province’s annual Sea Festival, including 19 professional thieves who had traveled from Phnom Penh specifically to target festivalgoers.
“We arrested four thieves on December 9 and on Saturday the 13th we arrested 19 more,” provincial police chief Som Khitvien said Monday.
Mr. Khitvien said the 19 men consisted of two groups of pickpockets from the capital who had decided to try their luck at the Sea Festival over the weekend.
“Of the 19 who came from Phnom Penh, there were two groups, with four people in one group and 15 in another,” he explained.
“They used a 12-seat tourist van and a Lexus 300,” he added.
“Stealing is their business.” Mr. Khitvien said the larger group appeared to be led by a woman named Chan Sy, 45, while the smaller group’s ringleader was Khun Rady, 24.
The groups stole necklaces, wallets and other personal property from festivalgoers, he said.