SINGAPORE - The street was crowded with people, but their attention was on a lion dance performance.
Perhaps taking advantage of the distraction, a carjacker struck in broad daylight.
When a car driven by a woman stopped nearby, he went up to it, whipped open the front passenger door and jumped in.
Before the startled driver could react, he was threatening to harm her with a penknife. And so began almost 30 minutes of terror for the Singaporean woman in her 30s.
She was robbed of $600, an iPhone 5 and her ATM card. The man even forced her to reveal her card's personal identification number to him. Sounds like another carjacking-robbery in Johor Baru?
No, this happened in Geylang Bahru on Sunday. Two lawyers The New Paper spoke to on Monday could not recall the last time such a carjacking-robbery had occurred here.
They were surprised by what they called a "blatant" and "audacious" act that happened here in front of so many in broad daylight.
The victim's mother, who declined to be named, told Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News that her daughter had gone out to do some shopping on Sunday afternoon.
She stopped her red hatchback at Block 70, Geylang Bahru, next to a market and food centre. She was stunned when a stranger brandishing a penknife got into her car and demanded her valuables.
After she handed them over, he ordered her to drive about 400m to a carpark at Block 57. He then used masking tape to secure her hands to the front passenger seat before fleeing on foot.
The mother said her daughter's ordeal lasted close to 30 minutes as the carjacker had remained in the car for a while, apparently because he did not want her to raise the alarm too soon.