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Beware Renting Motorbikes In Chiangmai

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hmm let me think this a bit as who knows the TPD might be reading this thread as well. All tough these guys English skills would not be good enough to understand :D

First of as I mentioned earlier I met 3 tourist police at sunday market around 9pm Sunday who where all very nice. They said that case sounds very familiar and asked me not to go to the local police station but to tourist police first.

Monday around 1pm we did go to TPD and there where 3 other guys who's attitude from the very beginning was pretty different. The old guy who seemed to dislike us most told us that we will not get help from there but have to go together with the owner to the local police station near wat prasin. There might have been also a little language barrier but he didn't quit understand the point that the shop owner has already threaten us with the police and "big problems" :D (I love when Thais use that). Anyway he had another case at Wat Pra Sin Police station so we went to ask for the shop owner to come there together with us. We had to wait for about hour for the previous case to be solved and Im not sure if it ever was. As this same TP was there as "translator" and the pour Italian guy was pretty pissed when he pushed to sign something he dont understand. Already then we could see what was coming. The tourist police was very unhelpful and saying phrases like "you not my boss" "I dont have to help you" etc... and occasionally left the farang along with the Thai police officer who didnt speak any English but actually seemed like a ok guy.

Once our turn came the situation was this. The tourist police was there only to translate not to give any advice. Im not sure what is their role but even as a translator he did a terrible job. Not only his English was pretty bad but also he really talked very unfriendly way to us and was pretty easy to see hows side he took in the case. We where not excusing anyone just pointing that it was a pretty weird thing that only that bike was stolen. I tried to ask some questions like "where does stolen bikes usually go?" Answer "I don't know, not my job". Ok difficult to explain the whole story but at one point our "translator" wanted me out of the room to talk only with the 2 dutch guys. I refused to do this as I didnt really see any point there. At this point they already found out that I can pretty well understand Thai and where translating the Thai to the Dutch guys (the tourist police, police and shop owner we speaking in Thai together, even the shop owner spoke really fluent English).

After I refused the shop owner snatch and jumped up saying something like "do not ever put down the Thai people". There where moment before this when I asked my friend not to sign a form that was empty (they wanted to fill it later). Also the Tourist police where saying how this is Thailand this is the procedure here.

Ok when we got out from the police station one other tourist police and our translator stopped me and wanted to see my passport. I didnt have one with me so I showed copy of my passport. Then they asked about how long I have been living here and how long I will stay and what is my purpose of being here etc. Im here as a full-time master student at Payap university so I gaved all those details and they where talking something about knowing the Payap president and getting in contact, I was not told for what reason, but perhaps checking whether my visa and studies are for real (oh and they are).

So yes from my experience yesterday I think the local Police was doing better job or at least less unpolitely.

What is actually tourist police purpose of asking my passport and visa? Are they working together with immigration. I understood these guys only do translating and they not very good in that :)

Ill keep people posted how things will continue from here.... perhaps I make another visit to TPD to find out what was that all about. Perhaps just a bad day?

WOW, sounds like a very confusing and frustrating day for you. I may be wrong but I get the feeling from your writing that you may have an attitude problem in dealing with this. You seem to expect the Thai TPD to be Harvard Grads with English degrees. One thing I know about them is they are very good at discerning attitudes in faranges. By your refusal to leave the room says a lot. Would you refuse such a request at a police station in your own country? I know you are a third party trying to help the Dutch guy but your

conviction about the dealer may be wrong. Just an observation and I may be wrong. :D Chok Dee

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hmm let me think this a bit as who knows the TPD might be reading this thread as well. All tough these guys English skills would not be good enough to understand :D

First of as I mentioned earlier I met 3 tourist police at sunday market around 9pm Sunday who where all very nice. They said that case sounds very familiar and asked me not to go to the local police station but to tourist police first.

Monday around 1pm we did go to TPD and there where 3 other guys who's attitude from the very beginning was pretty different. The old guy who seemed to dislike us most told us that we will not get help from there but have to go together with the owner to the local police station near wat prasin. There might have been also a little language barrier but he didn't quit understand the point that the shop owner has already threaten us with the police and "big problems" :D (I love when Thais use that). Anyway he had another case at Wat Pra Sin Police station so we went to ask for the shop owner to come there together with us. We had to wait for about hour for the previous case to be solved and Im not sure if it ever was. As this same TP was there as "translator" and the pour Italian guy was pretty pissed when he pushed to sign something he dont understand. Already then we could see what was coming. The tourist police was very unhelpful and saying phrases like "you not my boss" "I dont have to help you" etc... and occasionally left the farang along with the Thai police officer who didnt speak any English but actually seemed like a ok guy.

Once our turn came the situation was this. The tourist police was there only to translate not to give any advice. Im not sure what is their role but even as a translator he did a terrible job. Not only his English was pretty bad but also he really talked very unfriendly way to us and was pretty easy to see hows side he took in the case. We where not excusing anyone just pointing that it was a pretty weird thing that only that bike was stolen. I tried to ask some questions like "where does stolen bikes usually go?" Answer "I don't know, not my job". Ok difficult to explain the whole story but at one point our "translator" wanted me out of the room to talk only with the 2 dutch guys. I refused to do this as I didnt really see any point there. At this point they already found out that I can pretty well understand Thai and where translating the Thai to the Dutch guys (the tourist police, police and shop owner we speaking in Thai together, even the shop owner spoke really fluent English).

After I refused the shop owner snatch and jumped up saying something like "do not ever put down the Thai people". There where moment before this when I asked my friend not to sign a form that was empty (they wanted to fill it later). Also the Tourist police where saying how this is Thailand this is the procedure here.

Ok when we got out from the police station one other tourist police and our translator stopped me and wanted to see my passport. I didnt have one with me so I showed copy of my passport. Then they asked about how long I have been living here and how long I will stay and what is my purpose of being here etc. Im here as a full-time master student at Payap university so I gaved all those details and they where talking something about knowing the Payap president and getting in contact, I was not told for what reason, but perhaps checking whether my visa and studies are for real (oh and they are).

So yes from my experience yesterday I think the local Police was doing better job or at least less unpolitely.

What is actually tourist police purpose of asking my passport and visa? Are they working together with immigration. I understood these guys only do translating and they not very good in that :)

Ill keep people posted how things will continue from here.... perhaps I make another visit to TPD to find out what was that all about. Perhaps just a bad day?

WOW, sounds like a very confusing and frustrating day for you. I may be wrong but I get the feeling from your writing that you may have an attitude problem in dealing with this. You seem to expect the Thai TPD to be Harvard Grads with English degrees. One thing I know about them is they are very good at discerning attitudes in faranges. By your refusal to leave the room says a lot. Would you refuse such a request at a police station in your own country? I know you are a third party trying to help the Dutch guy but your

conviction about the dealer may be wrong. Just an observation and I may be wrong. :D Chok Dee

Sounds like cmdream may have some equally pre-conceived ideas about the tourist police. For now I'll believe the one who who was there and took the time to write the long reply. Thanks, Ozz1.

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If this happened to me on a visit to Thailand, I would probably write the place off and never return. Just an observation.

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Dear cmdream,

well its difficult to explain the atmosphere on that room, but I did not see any logical reason why I should have left the room. I know the police thought that it would help as they could get them to sign the empty forms which they could then later fill in and makes things a bit easier.

To straighten things up a little. I never accused the rent shop of stealing the bike. I do believe that someone with fitting keys had to take it, otherwise they would have picked one of the single locked and less used bikes parked on the same spot. This does not mean its the rental shop it also could be someone who has rented the bike before and has copied the keys or just one with special kind of tool to open up any lock, I'm sure they got those here as well.

I do agree in some extend about the attitude problem - I did expect a bit more, not a Harward graduate, but something better than average bar girl, not only in English, but also in general understanding of the farangs. Example. farangs don't like to sign empty forms, farang don't like to sign something that they don't understand or they do disagree and last but not least farang might want to get copy of all those documents with them as at least later someone could tell them how they where fuc_ked :)

Edited by 0zz1

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hmm let me think this a bit as who knows the TPD might be reading this thread as well. All tough these guys English skills would not be good enough to understand :D

First of as I mentioned earlier I met 3 tourist police at sunday market around 9pm Sunday who where all very nice. They said that case sounds very familiar and asked me not to go to the local police station but to tourist police first.

Monday around 1pm we did go to TPD and there where 3 other guys who's attitude from the very beginning was pretty different. The old guy who seemed to dislike us most told us that we will not get help from there but have to go together with the owner to the local police station near wat prasin. There might have been also a little language barrier but he didn't quit understand the point that the shop owner has already threaten us with the police and "big problems" :D (I love when Thais use that). Anyway he had another case at Wat Pra Sin Police station so we went to ask for the shop owner to come there together with us. We had to wait for about hour for the previous case to be solved and Im not sure if it ever was. As this same TP was there as "translator" and the pour Italian guy was pretty pissed when he pushed to sign something he dont understand. Already then we could see what was coming. The tourist police was very unhelpful and saying phrases like "you not my boss" "I dont have to help you" etc... and occasionally left the farang along with the Thai police officer who didnt speak any English but actually seemed like a ok guy.

Once our turn came the situation was this. The tourist police was there only to translate not to give any advice. Im not sure what is their role but even as a translator he did a terrible job. Not only his English was pretty bad but also he really talked very unfriendly way to us and was pretty easy to see hows side he took in the case. We where not excusing anyone just pointing that it was a pretty weird thing that only that bike was stolen. I tried to ask some questions like "where does stolen bikes usually go?" Answer "I don't know, not my job". Ok difficult to explain the whole story but at one point our "translator" wanted me out of the room to talk only with the 2 dutch guys. I refused to do this as I didnt really see any point there. At this point they already found out that I can pretty well understand Thai and where translating the Thai to the Dutch guys (the tourist police, police and shop owner we speaking in Thai together, even the shop owner spoke really fluent English).

After I refused the shop owner snatch and jumped up saying something like "do not ever put down the Thai people". There where moment before this when I asked my friend not to sign a form that was empty (they wanted to fill it later). Also the Tourist police where saying how this is Thailand this is the procedure here.

Ok when we got out from the police station one other tourist police and our translator stopped me and wanted to see my passport. I didnt have one with me so I showed copy of my passport. Then they asked about how long I have been living here and how long I will stay and what is my purpose of being here etc. Im here as a full-time master student at Payap university so I gaved all those details and they where talking something about knowing the Payap president and getting in contact, I was not told for what reason, but perhaps checking whether my visa and studies are for real (oh and they are).

So yes from my experience yesterday I think the local Police was doing better job or at least less unpolitely.

What is actually tourist police purpose of asking my passport and visa? Are they working together with immigration. I understood these guys only do translating and they not very good in that :)

Ill keep people posted how things will continue from here.... perhaps I make another visit to TPD to find out what was that all about. Perhaps just a bad day?

WOW, sounds like a very confusing and frustrating day for you. I may be wrong but I get the feeling from your writing that you may have an attitude problem in dealing with this. You seem to expect the Thai TPD to be Harvard Grads with English degrees. One thing I know about them is they are very good at discerning attitudes in faranges. By your refusal to leave the room says a lot. Would you refuse such a request at a police station in your own country? I know you are a third party trying to help the Dutch guy but your

conviction about the dealer may be wrong. Just an observation and I may be wrong. :D Chok Dee

Sounds like cmdream may have some equally pre-conceived ideas about the tourist police. For now I'll believe the one who who was there and took the time to write the long reply. Thanks, Ozz1.

Its not a question of belief, it's a question of respect. A superior attitude is easy to recognize. Many farange come here with such an attitude. Any one who has been here for a number of years knows that respect ( face) is all important to the Thais especially to the ones in authority. I suggest you and your friend adjust accordingly. This their country, their laws. Nothing pre-conceived just experience. Chok Dee

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one with special kind of tool to open up any lock,

Skeleton keys that open any lock of a certain type and brand are quite easy to make. :)

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Dear cmdream,

well its difficult to explain the atmosphere on that room, but I did not see any logical reason why I should have left the room. I know the police thought that it would help as they could get them to sign the empty forms which they could then later fill in and makes things a bit easier.

To straighten things up a little. I never accused the rent shop of stealing the bike. I do believe that someone with fitting keys had to take it, otherwise they would have picked one of the single locked and less used bikes parked on the same spot. This does not mean its the rental shop it also could be someone who has rented the bike before and has copied the keys or just one with special kind of tool to open up any lock, I'm sure they got those here as well.

I do agree in some extend about the attitude problem - I did expect a bit more, not a Harward graduate, but something better than average bar girl, not only in English, but also in general understanding of the farangs. Example. farangs don't like to sign empty forms, farang don't like to sign something that they don't understand or they do disagree and last but not least farang might want to get copy of all those documents with them as at least later someone could tell them how they where fuc_ked :)

Hi Ozz1, Thanks for a better report on what transpired at the Central Station

I am with you about not signing blank forms or forms in Thai that you cannot read. The Tourist Police have some farange volunteers who can help you through this. They can read and speak Thai and understand the culture. You need a "go" between who can advise you and your friend. We all have to learn the Thai Way :D of doing things, sometimes the hard way.You made a good effort for your friend and I admire that. Chok Dee

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I wonder if the "Tourist Police" in that area are more trustworthy than the regular police?

Sorry about your troubles and good luck!

Simply, No. They can speak English, but that is the only thing they are good at, in my experience.

from my experience today I have to agree, dont expect to get help from the tourist police.

:D to all posters ===if you think this is new forget it. advice, Do NOT RENT "ANYHING" even if the person is pretty and seemingly kind and helpful :) yes i do know its considered shouting

most of the tricks with bikes and other 'things' have not been mentioned by the posters. now its worse

be prudent, its a jungle, Such a shame :D riley 76

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I wonder if the "Tourist Police" in that area are more trustworthy than the regular police?

Sorry about your troubles and good luck!

Simply, No. They can speak English, but that is the only thing they are good at, in my experience.

from my experience today I have to agree, dont expect to get help from the tourist police.

:D to all posters ===if you think this is new forget it. advice, Do NOT RENT "ANYHING" even if the person is pretty and seemingly kind and helpful :) yes i do know its considered shouting

most of the tricks with bikes and other 'things' have not been mentioned by the posters. now its worse

be prudent, its a jungle, Such a shame :D riley 76

Thanks for your input riley 76, sounds like you got burned pretty bad.

This thread is a good lesson for visitors and expats. Even if she has the sweetest smile you have ever seen keep your hand on your wallet :D

Thailand is a tourist destination and as such is a magnet for the scum who

prey on travelers, nothing new. Every country has this problem. The nice thing about Chiang Mai is that the problems are mostly of a non violent nature.

Riley is right, if you rent anything, a bike, condo, house or ??? know what you are getting, and what you are responsible for, ask all the questions before you sign on. Prudent is the right word.

The TPD has a group of expat volunteers, nice folks from many different countries who live in and around CM here to assist you and them.

Many here think the Thai Tourist PD should have a good command of English, French, German, Japanese etc. language and culture. Impossible !

The volunteers from these and other countries are there or on call, so if you have a problem go to TPD station at Rim Ping Plaza maybe they can help.

Chok Dee

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Just as a caution...

Thai law is rather touchy about commentary that is even slightly perceived as defamatory, etc.

Thai Visa offers open discourse, but national law here should make one wary about rather serious allegations in posts.

Better to go through private legal channels, I would think.

One definitely needs to tread carefully.

However to help others who could unwittingly fall victim to the outrageous scams, could 'point of fact' posts not be placed mentioning the fact that someone rented a bike from so and so's rental place and they subsequently had their bike stolen. Any mention of finger pointing/allegations obviousely omitted. Surely after a collection of similar posts, readers can 'read between the lines' and word of mouth would be the order of the day.

Don't you just wanna shout.....

he did it!! yes I know you can't, but................

regards Bojo

Is "Mr. Boy" still in business?

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one with special kind of tool to open up any lock,

Skeleton keys that open any lock of a certain type and brand are quite easy to make. :)

The skeleton key is a myth.

Trust me on that one.

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Hi Ozz1, Thanks for a better report on what transpired at the Central Station

I am with you about not signing blank forms or forms in Thai that you cannot read. The Tourist Police have some farange volunteers who can help you through this. They can read and speak Thai and understand the culture. You need a "go" between who can advise you and your friend. We all have to learn the Thai Way :) of doing things, sometimes the hard way.You made a good effort for your friend and I admire that. Chok Dee

Where did you get that information cmd? The majority of foreign Thai Police volunteers can barely say hello and thank you in Thai let alone act as interpreters. Most of them are wannabees and like to prance around in their little blue overalls with lots of badges and say, "Hey, look at me." Most are kite fliers in my opinion.

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one with special kind of tool to open up any lock,

Skeleton keys that open any lock of a certain type and brand are quite easy to make. :)

The skeleton key is a myth.

Trust me on that one.

My father used to make them when I was a kid, as we had lots of cabinets with tools and such, and he did not want to have to use a whole bunch of seperate keys. I would borrow one once in a while and go all over the area opening all of the same kind of locks.

It has to be the same brand lock and the same size, but they do work. :D

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one with special kind of tool to open up any lock,

Skeleton keys that open any lock of a certain type and brand are quite easy to make. :)

The skeleton key is a myth.

Trust me on that one.

My father used to make them when I was a kid, as we had lots of cabinets with tools and such, and he did not want to have to use a whole bunch of seperate keys. I would borrow one once in a while and go all over the area opening all of the same kind of locks.

It has to be the same brand lock and the same size, but they do work. :D

Maybe sassienie isn't old enough, but I remember them from my childhood, too :D

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Lock picking used to be a hobby of mine some years back. I'm no expert, but here is my two cents. Take if for what it's worth.

Skeleton keys are usually associated with cabinetry and doors made before WWII. They were keys that would bypass the wards in most of the old locks before the pin tumbler locks became popular. They don't really exist in modern locks, though some people use the term now interchangeably with "Master key". Master keys work with locks that have been designed so that the lock will open with the pins in two different positions. The first position is unique to that lock. The second position is the same as all the rest of the locks in that set, so that the master key will work in all of them.

For commercial properties, a locksmith can be brought in to change the pins in all the door locks so that they all work with the same master key. On a smaller scale, locks are often sold in sets with a master key. HomePro sells bubble packs of 5 padlocks that all have keys unique to each padlock plus one master key that works in all. So for the example given in this thread, it would be easy for a bike shop to have a master key for the padlock given with the bike. They would have had to purchase the lock as part of a set. But for someone else not related to the shop to have the key would be very unlikely, the same odds as them having the common key for the lock. And making a master key for modern pin and tumbler locks would be pretty unlikely too, you would have to know the exact pin tumbler position required to open that lock; it's not universal to all locks of a certain brand, just to that set of locks.

I'm pretty sure that there are no master keys that will work on all automobiles or motorbikes of a certain brand. The locks just aren't designed that way, they are designed to work with one key only. What there is however is "Jiggle keys" which is just a large key ring with lots and lots of keys cut in different ways. As there are only so many pin tumbler combinations in a lock design, you can just keep sticking keys in and "jiggling" them until you find one close enough that it works.

Maybe there are certain automotive manufacturers that do incorporate master keys into their lock designs, I've just never heard of it. But then I'm not a lock smith, just an amateur hobbyist. If there is a pro on this forum I'm sure he'll set me straight.

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