He wanted an excuse to get contact details of prostitutes, and hopefully call them for cheap sex at a later date.
So Yusri Abdul Wahab, who had dreamed of one day joining a law enforcement agency, decided to impersonate a police officer and conduct checks on sex workers in Geylang. He had watched a television show in which a character had hatched a similar plot.
On May 7 last year, the 39-year-old went into a building in Geylang, flashed a makeshift "police pass", and asked to see the sex workers' work permits.
But someone grew suspicious and called the police.
Yesterday, Yusri was jailed for four months for the offence.
His total term came up to eight months, after including punishment for stealing camera equipment while performing his real job as a pest control officer.
No restitution has been made for the thefts, which involved almost $32,000 of items and got Yusri sacked.
These were committed on four occasions between January and May last year, at two homes in Swettenham Road near Queenstown.
On May 7 last year, Yusri bought police-related paraphernalia from Peninsula Shopping Centre, including a leather pass holder. He also had a photograph of himself taken and inserted it into the pass holder.
He wore a black polo T-shirt with "Police" and "Tactical Shooting Instructor" printed on it. The shirt also bore the Singapore flag.
Around 10pm in Jalan Suka in Geylang, he examined a prostitute's passport and work permit card and managed to obtain her phone number.
Yusri then entered a building in Lorong 22 Geylang and asked to see the passes of about 10 sex workers inside.
He made a show of checking the documents, all the while speaking into his earpiece to pretend he was carrying out a real check.
District Judge Low Wee Ping called Yusri's impersonation "shocking", noting he had gone to the extent of buying the police paraphernalia to carry it out.
Defence counsel K. Jayakumar Naidu said his client had committed the thefts out of a desperate need for money.
He needed to repay moneylenders he had become indebted to in supporting his estranged wife, the lawyer added.
Yusri pleaded guilty to three charges in all, with another two taken into consideration.
For his single charge of impersonating a police officer, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.
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