Some landed property owners who did not lock their doors or windows because they thought that the boundary wall would be enough to deter thieves have paid the price for their complacency.
On Thursday, police arrested a 37-year-old man believed to be responsible for break-ins at six private residences islandwide.
The crimes were committed between August 26 and Thursday.
The culprit usually carried out his deeds from midnight to 4am, and is believed to have entered the houses by scaling the boundary wall and slipping in through unlocked doors or windows.
Careful not to rouse the sleeping occupants of the house, he would steal cash and any expensive items lying around, such as computer notebooks and phones.
He was estimated to have stolen more than $25,000 in cash and other items before he was caught following an extensive operation by the police.
The operation involved officers from Bedok and other police divisions, the Public Transport Security Command, the Police Intelligence Department and the Criminal Investigation Department.
Superintendent of Police Chua Chee Wai (right), the Deputy Commander of Bedok Police Station, said officers combed several areas in search of the suspect and analysed security-camera footage from neighbours of the victims.
"We also went through footage from convenience stores, MRT stations and LTA cameras in an effort to trace the culprit," he added.
Their hard work paid off when the suspect was arrested in the vicinity of Kallang Road following a well-coordinated operation.
Cash amounting to about $800 was found on the suspect. Other items found on him include various foreign currencies, three mobile phones, two mobile phones cables, three SIM card adaptors and a disposable surgical mask.
The suspect is believed to have worked alone and Deputy Head Investigator Deputy Superintendent of Police Andy Chia said that there were "no reasonable grounds to believe that he had an accomplice".
The police advised house owners not to be complacent and to adopt crime-prevention measures. Indeed, the six houses that were burgled did not have their doors and windows locked properly and did not have security cameras installed.
The suspect will be charged in court today for housebreaking and theft by night. If convicted, he can be jailed for up to 14 years.
BY THE NUMBERS
Housebreaking and related crimes
333 cases from January to June 2012
276 from January to June 2013
175 for the first six months of this year
2011: 706 cases
2012: 598 cases
2013: 547 cases
Theft and related crimes
9,257 cases from January to June 2012
8,671 from January to June 2013
8,338 for the first six months of this year
2011: 18,314 cases
2012: 18,476 cases
2013: 16,967 cases
This article was first published on September 6, 2014.
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