Man strolls off with her $1,200 pram

Man strolls off with her $1,200 pram
PHOTO: Ms Clarissa

The $1,200 purple twin stroller has a special place in her heart.

It protected her two toddlers from injury last year with its sturdy frame when a metal shutter at a restaurant accidentally came down on them.

It was also taken on her family's first overseas trip to the US in January and held a special meaning for a 27-year-old assistant manager who wanted to be known only as Ms Clarissa.

So imagine her anxiety when it went missing. And her shock when she discovered it for sale the next day for $750 on an online site. She set up a meeting with the seller who told her he found it near a rubbish bin and decided to put it up for sale.

But Ms Clarissa painted a different picture.

She said on Sept 10, just like on any other weekday at 9am, her husband, Mr Azis Diamel, 34, a management supervisor, left the stroller outside their children's Bukit Panjang childcare centre while he took them inside.

As it was a rainy day, he decided to leave the stroller there, thinking that it would be fine since there was a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera nearby.

Taken

When Mr Azis returned at 5.30pm that day, the stroller was gone.

To try their luck at finding the missing stroller, Mr Azis suggested his wife look for it on e-commerce website Carousell.

Ms Clarissa saw a similar stroller being listed the following day.

"I thought it can't be that coincidental," she said.

She then arranged to meet the seller to get her stroller back.

The man met Mr Azis at a void deck in Choa Chu Kang. Within two minutes, Ms Clarissa showed up with two policemen to confront the man.

She recognised the stroller immediately because there was a dent near the logo.

Ms Clarissa managed to get her stroller back in the end.

"I feel relieved because we saved up to take our kids on their first US trip and in all the photos, the stroller was there with us," she said.

"It holds important memories for us."

Ms Clarissa said she hoped the CCTV footage would show what actually happened to her stroller on that day.

The police took down the man's particulars but did not arrest him, she said. They told The New Paper that they are investigating the case.

'It was placed beside rubbish bin'

The man who took Ms Clarissa's stroller claimed that the incident was a misunderstanding.

When The New Paper called the seller, he said that he had found it next to a rubbish bin near the childcare centre and it had been there for a week.

Ms Clarissa told The New Paper that it was put up for sale one day after it went missing.

The self-employed man, who is in his 30s, declined to be named.

He said he was unaware the stroller belonged to someone as he saw it at the same spot on three separate occasions over a period of a week.

"I even purposely showed my face to the CCTV in case someone wanted to claim it."

The man admitted that he took the stroller but had no intention of stealing it.

"If I wanted to steal it, I would've taken it from day one," he said.

He had intended to keep the stroller for his son but after checking its specifications, he found it unsuitable.

None of his friends wanted the stroller, so he decided to sell it on Carousell.

He said he was willing to return the stroller to Ms Clarissa when he met her although she did not produce any proof that it belonged to her.

He said he asked for compensation as he had "refurbished" it by taking it apart and disinfecting it.

Ms Clarissa refused.

He said: "If she had called to say the stroller was hers, I would have apologised and compensated her..."

The man added: "I would compensate her only for the two blankets in the stroller which I threw away."

Lawyers weigh in

If the man had taken the stroller, knowing that it belonged to someone else, he can be charged with dishonest misappropriation of property, said two lawyers.

Mr Lim Kia Tong, however, added: "If the man, in good faith, believes that the stroller was discarded, there would be no criminal intention to misappropriate the item."

He said CCTV footage from a camera near the childcare centre could serve as evidence as to where the stroller had been placed.

"If the CCTV footage refutes the suspect's claims, then there would be a criminal intention to steal, amounting to theft," said Mr Lim.

Another lawyer, Mr Justin Tan, also said that it could be a case of dishonest misappropriation.

He said that the offence carries a jail term of up to two years, a fine or both.


This article was first published on September 19, 2015.
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