News

Holidaymaker pistol-whipped in Thai robbery

TOOWOOMBA woman Miranda Mitchell is keen to return to Thailand even after being pistol-whipped during an attempted robbery.

An instinctive reaction to chase a man down a Phuket street and pull him from a motorcycle just seconds after he had robbed her of her bag at gunpoint could have cost Miss Mitchell her life.

The 30-year-old arrived in Thailand on Christmas Eve last year with the intention of spending a couple of weeks honing her martial arts skills at the Tiger Muay Thai training camp.

She caught a taxi to the Chalong district in search of accommodation near her training camp.

"I didn't have accommodation booked, which is not atypical for me," Miss Mitchell said.

After storing her suitcase at an unattended guest house, she went out in search of a suitable place to stay.

The six or so guest houses she passed were either unsuitable or closed.

It was about 10pm when she decided to walk back to the only one which had been open.

"When three guys slowed on their motorcycle, I just smiled and took a step to the right to get out of the way."

The bike pulled onto the grass in front of her and a man holding a pistol jumped off.

"The guy with the gun held the gun to my chest.

"He was holding the gun with his right hand and saying 'take off, take off'."

His target was the black handbag Miss Mitchell had over her shoulder.

In it were her passport, iPhone, jewellery, camera and the equivalent of about $90 cash.

"I said 'no, no, no, I don't have anything'."

A small struggle ensued and the man ripped the bag from Miss Mitchell's shoulder before jumping back on the waiting motorcycle.

"I kept thinking he didn't seem like he wanted to shoot me.

"I took a few steps after the bike and grabbed the guy around the waist."

She grabbed her bag back and was holding it with both hands when the man hit her in the head with the butt of his pistol.

The man and his cohorts then fled on the motorcycle as passers-by stopped to assist.

Her wound needed four stitches to be sewn together.

Numerous visits to the police station over the course of the next week in the attempt to identify her attacker proved fruitless.

While she did not regret her actions, she advised against fighting back against armed attackers.

"I remind myself it could have been a lot worse.

"I guess I would still teach people to hand over their stuff."

The incident has not deterred her from returning to Thailand.

"I'll go back and I'll probably go back to the same training centre."

STAYING SAFE

  •  Be wary when travelling on crowded public transport
  •  Avoid travelling in a train carriage where you are the only passenger.
  •  Avoid shopping in isolated areas and trying on items in back rooms at bazaars and markets
  •  For more tips visit smartraveller.com.au
Toowoomba woman Miranda Mitchell recalls her encounter with an armed robber in Thailand.
Toowoomba woman Miranda Mitchell recalls her encounter with an armed robber in Thailand. Kevin Farmer

Topics:  editors picks, gun, thailand, toowoomba



Bikie Laws: Katter MP compares bikie logos to burqas

Outlaw motorcycle gang colours and logos would be outlawed under the proposed changes.

"Are you going to become the fashion police?"

Mousetrap powered STEM cars

BIG SMILES: Fingal Head Public School students Birren and Mibin Slabb win gold at the STEM competition.

Kids put their skills to the test for STEM challenge.

Court blows away ridge-top wedding venue plans

court generic

The approval for a wedding venue at Talofa has been overturned.

Latest deals and offers

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m