Parents of ‘adorable thieves’ deny report of hill tribe children stealing tourist’s wrist watch

The parents of the two hill tribe girls in Chiang Mai denied that their children stole a tourist’s wrist watch at Doi Suthep after their photograph was published on Mail Online with a headline calling them “adorable thieves.”

Chiang Mai police called in the parents of the girls for questioning after the story received attention from international media. It was based on a Reddit post by a tourist who claimed the hill tribe girls stole his girlfriend’s watch.

In the photos, one of the girls is seen touching the woman’s wristwatch, which the tourist claimed, “solved the mystery of the missing watch.”

Lulu, the 37-year-old mother of the two girls, told the police that her daughters would wear traditional costumes to pose for photos with tourists at Doi Suthep on the weekend and during school’s summer break.

She said the girls have never stolen anything and several times they even returned stuff that tourists had forgotten. Lulu said that the news had upset her because it built a negative image tof her daughters and other hill tribe children.

Meanwhile, Methapan Fuengfoo-kidjakarn, the headman of Baan Mong Doi Pui, said the photos only showed the girls holding hands with the tourist and, if they had really stolen her watch, she would have felt it.

He said that the report showed the irresponsibility of the press and asked that they present concrete evidence.

Chiang Mai police said they are tracking down the female tourist in the photo to inquire if she has other evidence or if she has found the watch yet, Sanook reported.



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