An airline passenger who stole a trolley bag belonging to a person sitting in front of him was jailed for nine months on Monday.
Liu Yanjun, 40, had been on a Tiger Airlines flight from Macau to Singapore when an attendant spotted him trying to force open the bag in his seat and recognised that it did not belong to him.
The luggage contained clothes and documents belonging to Mr Lim Hock Siong, 63, who was sat three rows ahead of him with his wife and daughter.
After boarding, Mr Lim's daughter mistakenly placed the trolley bag and other pieces of luggage in the overhead compartment above the seats one row behind theirs.
They decided not to move the baggage as it would be too troublesome, Deputy Public Prosecutor John Lu Zhuoren told a magistrate's court.
A flight attendant later saw Liu trying to force open the bag in his seat. She recognised it as the one she had helped the victim's daughter to stow.
She notified her chief attendant who stood behind Liu and saw him trying to undo the lock on the trolley bag, to no avail.
Liu was shocked when he turned around and saw the chief attendant. He put the trolley back into the overhead compartment and slept for the rest of the journey.
Mr Lu said the victim later checked the bag and found the seal sticker which was placed over the lock had been torn off and the zipper broken. The three-digit combination code had also been reset.
Liu was detained when the plane touched down at Changi Airport on Oct 19.
The Chinese national admitted to the theft and could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.