Singaporean girls smiling in mugshots after caught shoplifting in Bangkok mall
They had just been caught shoplifting in Bangkok, yet fooled around and smiled for their mugshots.
The photographs of the two Singaporean girls went viral after they were uploaded on social media, with netizens in both Thailand and Singapore slamming them for their behavior.
The girls, both 18 at the time, were caught after they stole two spaghetti-strap tops from a shop at the Platinum Fashion Mall in Thailand on June 16.
Their personal details were later posted online.
Speaking to a Singaporean news portal, one of them, Low Yu Min, who turned 19 Monday, said she wanted to take responsibility for her actions and apologize to both Singaporeans and Thais.
“It was so stupid of us to do what we did, and we truly feel remorseful for appearing as if we didn’t treat the situation seriously,” she said.
“We are so sorry for the trouble that we have caused, and more importantly, I would like to say sorry to all the people who have shown care and concern for us.
“We are sorry for letting you down.”
Low described how they and two male friends had gone to Thailand for a one-week holiday last week, and spent a day shopping at Platinum.
They had split up, with the girls wandering off to shop together.
“We walked past the shop about noon and saw that it was closed with a bamboo pole laid across the storefront,” she said.
The shop attendant of My Faiday had gone to the toilet.
On impulse, the girls decided to steal the tops.
“We were not thinking straight at the time. It was a silly thing to do,” said Miss Low.
“I really regret what we did, and I can’t say sorry enough.”
They then met their friends and went to Mahboonkrong (MBK), another mall about 1.9km away.
About two hours later, they were approached by My Faiday’s shop attendant and her friend at MBK.
The friend, who owns a shop at Platinum, told TNP yesterday that they had sent out pictures of the girls from closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage to Line chat groups with about 1,000 retailers in Bangkok.
They then received an alert that the girls had been seen at MBK.
Low said they were shown the CCTV footage and had their bags checked.
“We didn’t understand what was going on because of the language barrier, but we were scared and knew we were in trouble,” said Miss Low.
“A group, including some people who seemed to be the police, came later. But after discussing among themselves, they left.”
Then, the shop attendant and her friend told the girls to follow them back to Platinum.
They took a taxi to Platinum where they were taken to the security office. The girls were told to hand over their passports, or face being reported to the police.
Afraid they would be locked up without bail, the girls complied.
“We were very scared and confused because we didn’t know what would happen to us,” Miss Low said.
“There was no one we could properly communicate with to express how we felt.”
She said the security guard handling the case was light-hearted and casual about the incident.
“Throughout the whole process, we were actually very solemn and tense, so the security guard tried to lighten the mood, where we were captured smiling,” said Miss Low.
“We also spoke to the security guard and the shop attendant’s friend in broken Mandarin, and asked them to translate our apologies to the attendant, but she would have none of it.”
They were then told by the guard to pay 5,000baht ( RM575 ) to buy the entire stock of nine identical pieces of the spaghetti-strap top they stole, and cover the attendant’s transport costs which she claimed to be 1,000baht ( RM115 ).
But the girls had less than 4,000baht ( RM460 ) on them, and had to ask their friends to come over from MBK to help with the remaining amount.
“It was only after we settled everything and agreed to close the case that we decided to take pictures with the clothes,” said Low.
“On hindsight, it was completely wrong of us to make light of the situation.”
The parties involved also agreed to close the case, and keep their personal details confidential, Low said.
But the next day, Facebook user Auk Thanima posted details of the girls on her account.
When Low and her friend discovered they had been publicly shamed, they broke down and cried.
She said: “We spent the next few days feeling so ashamed of what we did.
“I sincerely apologize for the incident, and I’ve learnt my lesson. I will work to be a better person in future, and will never do such a thing again.”