SINGAPORE - A jobless man found a way to pay for his expenses - by stealing from commuters on public buses.
Yesterday, 41-year-old Abdul Razak, an Indonesian, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft with 12 more charges taken into consideration during the sentencing.
The total value of items stolen amounted to $3,551.
Abdul Razak, who told the court he has four children to support, was sentenced to 10 months' jail after the District Judge noted that the offences were pre-meditated and wanted to set a deterrent sentence.
Court documents stated that at about noon on Jan 20 this year, Abdul Razak was on SBS Transit service 147, which was travelling along Middle Road.
He stood close to 29-year-old Indian national Chinnasamy Manimaran and used his own bag to cover Mr Chinnasamy's so he could reach into the latter's bag to steal his Samsung Note 2 mobile phone.
Mr Chinnasamy, a construction worker, had his work permit and DBS ATM cards inside the mobile phone cover.
When Mr Chinnasamy felt Abdul Razak touching his bag, he turned around to look at him. But the latter quickly alighted at the next bus stop, opposite Midlink Plaza.
Abdul Razak later sold the mobile phone, valued at $315, in Indonesia and discarded the other items.
At about 11am on July 25 last year, Abdul Razak boarded SBS Transit service 12 and sat beside 72-year-old retiree Leong Kum Choy.
Investigations revealed that he stole Mr Leong's wallet, which was in his left front pocket. Mr Leong, who had $600 cash in his wallet besides his bank and identity cards and a senior citizen ez-link card with a stored value of $20, discovered the loss only when he was about to alight from the bus in Chinatown.
Mr Leong had boarded the bus in Pasir Ris Drive 1.
Abdul Razak could have been jailed for up to three years and fined for theft.
This article was first published on June 17, 2014.
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