SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has apprehended a 35-year-old man believed to be connected to a string of housebreaking and theft incidents.
The suspect was arrested at Changi Airport Terminal 4 on Saturday (2 Sept), before he could leave the country.
The incident that led to the suspect’s arrest occurred on 1 September, coinciding with the polling day of the Singapore Presidential Election (PE2023), at approximately 8:55 pm when a report of a housebreaking at a residential unit along Pasir Ris Road reached the police.
According to information posted on SPF’s official Facebook page, the suspect, carrying a black haversack, was spotted inside the residence, prompting the intervention of two foreign domestic workers, aged 27 and 56, along with two men, aged 69 and 70.
They managed to wrest the black haversack from the suspect before he fled the scene.
A subsequent examination of the haversack revealed a cache of cash, foreign currencies, valuables, clothing, as well as housebreaking tools, including a bolt cutter, a hacksaw, and screwdrivers.
Later that evening, at around 11:10 pm, the police received another report of a housebreaking at a residential unit along Pasir Ris Terrace, where S$1,500 in cash went missing.
The following day, on Saturday at approximately 2:20 pm, another housebreaking incident was reported in the same vicinity, though no losses were reported.
All three incidents were believed to be linked to the same suspect.
CCTV footage played a crucial role in establishing the suspect’s involvement in a fourth unreported housebreaking incident in the area.
Subsequently, a shirt and a mask recovered from the black haversack were sent to the Health Sciences Authority for forensic DNA examination.
In a collaborative effort involving multiple police units, including officers from Bedok Police Division, Police Operations Command Centre, Police Intelligence Department, Special Operations Command, Gurkha Contingent, Airport Police Division, and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, the suspect’s identity was determined.
He was arrested on Saturday at about 3:30 p.m. in the Departure area of Changi Airport Terminal 4.
During the arrest, authorities recovered more than S$1,600 in Singapore Dollars and approximately S$1,900 worth of various foreign currencies from the suspect.
The 35-year-old suspect will face charges on Monday (4 Sept) under Section 451 of the Penal Code 1871 for two counts of housebreaking and theft.
If convicted, he could face imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine.
In recognition of their bravery and public-spiritedness, four individuals, Mr Goh Kim Hock, Mr Gan Kok Beng, Ms Abaya Rizzalyn Estrella, and Ms Chita Guzman Abaya, who attempted to detain the suspect before the arrival of police officers, were awarded the Public Spiritedness Award by the Bedok Police Division.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Justin Wong, Commander of the Bedok Police Division, commended the courage of the migrant domestic workers and members of the public involved in confronting the suspect.
He said: “The suspect showed a blatant disregard for the law by committing housebreaking and theft while in Singapore. ”
“I would like to commend the bravery of the migrant domestic workers and members of the public who confronted the suspect. This case exemplifies how the Police work hand-in-hand with the community to keep Singapore safe and secure.”