Woman 'dragged 100m' by thieves on motorcycle
ONE moment, she was taking photos of the famous Erawan Shrine in Bangkok.
The next, Puran Kaur, 52, was being dragged along the road by a pair of snatch thieves on a motorcycle.
The pillion rider had grabbed her husband's mobile phone - which she had been using to take the photos - as well as her sling bag.
"My first instinct was to hang on to my bag," said Mrs Kaur, who co-owns Singapore nightclub Moshi Moshi Bollywood with her 53-year-old husband, Ricky Sapuran.
"I looked up and all I saw was the rear wheel of the motorcycle and the exhaust pipe."
The incident happened on Thursday, when the couple were on their last day of a four-day holiday in Bangkok.
Mrs Kaur said she saw the snatch thieves riding along the pavement towards her before they struck.
She said it felt like she was dragged for about 100m, from the pavement and onto the road, while face down and clinging to her bag.
She eventually let go because her face was very close to the bike's rear wheel and exhaust pipe.
When she did, the motorcycle lurched forward, resulting in the rider losing control.
The bike then crashed into the pillar of a nearby flyover.
As the thieves tried to pick themselves up from the crash, Mrs Kaur and her husband ran after the pair.
Seeing the couple approach, the pillion rider got up and walked towards them with his hands in his pockets.
Mrs Kaur said: "This made me think that he might have a gun in his pocket and I warned my husband to back off."
As they did, the pillion rider also turned and ran towards his partner, who was frantically trying to kick-start the motorcycle.
After failing to start the bike, the thieves fled while pushing it.
Mrs Kaur's bag was left behind on the road, with its contents intact.
It contained $500, 50,000 baht (S$2,000), her spectacles and her mobile phone.
The thieves got away only with her husband's mobile phone.
Before long, Mrs Kaur said they were surrounded by "security and military personnel".
"Someone must have contacted the police because in five minutes, they had come down," she said.
When she called her husband's mobile phone, a man speaking in Thai answered.
With the help of a passer-by who acted as a translator, Mrs Kaur found out that he was a taxi driver and that the phone had been given to him by the two thieves.
"He asked us about our location and he actually drove over to the shrine to return my husband's phone," she said.
"What was funny was that there was an entire 'handing and taking over ceremony', where the taxi driver passed the phone to the police and the police then handed it to us."
The couple said the kindness by Thai passers-by overshadowed their nasty experience.
Mr Sapuran said: "My wife was bleeding on the right side of her face. The Thais who came to help offered to send her to the hospital to get the wound looked at."
They were driven to the nearby Bumrungrad International Hospital where Mrs Kaur, who also had bruises all over her body, received four stitches on her face.
"We've been to Thailand so many times and this is the first time...something like this had happened, but it really could have been much worse," said Mr Sapuran.
Mrs Kaur added: "In hindsight, my actions were really not advisable. I really could have been hurt much worse."
When asked if she would return to Thailand, she said: "Definitely, but not in the next two or three years."
THE NEW PAPER