British tourist, 79, admits stealing dropped cash in Thai red light district

A British tourist has made a grovelling apology after he was caught on camera stealing cash dropped by a woman at a supermarket checkout.

Charles Edward Coote, 79, had been ''running low on money'' after staying for two months in the vibrant Soi 17 street in the red light city of Pattaya, eastern Thailand.

Supermarket CCTV shows how he noticed local woman Pratumrat Maymum, 30, drop two 1,000 baht (£25) notes while paying for her groceries on June 10.

Coote, from Barking, east London, waited for her to leave then covered the cash with his foot before pocketing it.

Complained to police

The woman noticed the missing money only when she returned home. She rushed back to the store to check what had happened and was shocked when she watched back the incident on the cameras.

Maymum said that after she complained to police, Coote contacted her to apologise and return the money. She met him on June 13 at the supermarket where he made a ''tearful apology''.

Speaking later, Maymum said: ''He contacted me and said he wanted to give the money back. I went to meet him and he was nearly crying. He had tears in his eyes.

''He said he had been staying in Thailand for two months and was running low on money. It's still not an excuse for stealing.''

The victim said that she was happy with the apology and did not want Coote to be prosecuted. Local police who had been investigating the theft agreed not to take it any further.

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