Tourist burns phone booths after losing money to bar girls

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Thai police have arrested a 64-year-old German man on charges of setting fire to 11 public phone booths after allegedly losing all his money to Thai bar girls.

Heinz-Dieter Beckers, 64, was arrested on Monday after confessing to the charges of setting fire to the phone booths and at least three billboards at public bus stops, Police Lieutenant Colonel Noppasin Poonsawat said.

Beckers, a frequent visitor to Thailand who had overstayed his tourist visa, told police that bar girls at Pattaya beach resort had taken all his money and he had recently lost his ATM card when a cash machine failed to eject it, leaving him penniless.

“With no money, he started stealing coins from public phone booths and set them on fire in frustration when he failed to get anything,” Noppasin said.