A woman sparked outrage after finding an iPhone 7 at the local supermarket then demanding £115 from the owner to return it.
Bad samaritan Saifon Moonchan, 45, picked up the brand new handset after it was left on the counter at a 7/11 shop in Pattaya, Thailand.
But when owner Neungrithai Nakka, 34, asked her sister to ring her phone she was shocked when brazen Saifon answered.
The bar worker claimed that because the phone was worth around 30,000 Thai baht (£700) she deserved a reward of at least 5,000 (£115).
Three-months-pregnant Neungrithai offered 1,000 Thai baht – which was declined – then called police who yesterday (Fri) interviewed both women at the local police station.
Neungrithai said: ‘’It was my mistake to leave the phone at the local shop and I was panicked when I thought I had lost it.
‘’I’m grateful to the lady for picking up the phone and offering to give it back to me when I called.
‘’But I cannot afford the amount she asked for and I think that it is too high. I offered her 1,000 baht as a finder fee but she wanted more.
‘’I was very sad because I didn’t think I would get my phone back so I called the police to help.’’
Officers interviewed Saifon, the lady who picked up the phone, and she still refused to hand it back. She would not turn on the handset and stuffed it in her trousers in a bid to avoid handing it over.
But officers explained that she could be arrested and charged with theft and also holding the phone to ransom.
Defiant Saifon said: ‘’I found the phone. It is an expensive handset. If someone not as kind as me found it, they would have kept it.
‘’The iPhone 7 is expensive and this was new so I should have 5,000 reward as a reward to give it back’’
Police Colonel Apichai Grobpet who dealt with the matter said that the woman who found the phone threatened civil proceedings in order to get a reward.
But he said the matter was now dealt with.
He added: ‘’Returning property to the correct owner is the right thing to do. It is nice if they give a reward but that is up to them.
‘’The iPhone 7 has been returned after a dispute. Please take care not to lose phones.’’