Five arrested for series of theft

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested five male Chinese nationals, aged 26 to 40 years, for a series of theft at retails outlets islandwide.

Since late October 2012, several cases of theft were committed at various retail outlets in Orchard Road, Thomson Road, Bayfront Avenue, Rochor Road, and the Sentosa vicinity.

The suspects, who acted in groups of two to three, would approach the retail outlets to make payment for items with Singapore $100 or $1,000 notes.

While the staff of the outlet is engrossed in calculating the change to return to the suspect, his accomplices would distract the victim by engaging her in a conversation.

In the course of the conversation, the suspect will produce the exact amount for the purchase and retrieve the larger note handed over earlier.

The suspect and his accomplices would continue to distract and confuse the victim into returning the change for the larger note and make their escape before the victim discovered the offence.

Preliminary investigations indicated that they are believed to be responsible for at least 13 cases.

A joint task force comprising officers from the Divisions involved with the support of the Police Intelligence Division was set up to look into the matter.

Following extensive enquiries and follow-up investigations, on Nov 3, 2012, at 9pm, the officers raided a hotel located in the Geylang area and arrested the five suspects.

Cash amounting to about $10,000 in various currencies were recovered.

This offence of theft with common intention carries a punishment of a jail term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or both.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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