Kazakhstan man charged with robbing Japanese woman; used a toy gun

SINGAPORE - A police news release issued on Thursday stated that Varichenko Kirill, 21, had approached the victim for a cigarette. She handed him a stick and he lifted his skirt to show her a "gun" tucked into his waistband. He is said to have threatened to kill her unless she gave him her valuables. She then handed her handbag and $10 in cash. The total value of items was $110. The "gun" was found to be a toy gun.

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Here is the full statement from the Singapore Police Force regarding the robbery case:

Police have arrested a 21-year-old man for Robbery within 48 hours of the offence.

On 7 Oct 2013 at about 2.55am, a female victim reported to the Police that whilst she was walking along Claymore Hill, a male suspect had approached her and requested for a cigarette stick. After the victim handed over the cigarette, the culprit lifted his shirt and showed her a gun tucked at his waistline. The culprit then demanded that the victim surrender her valuables or he would kill her. Fearing for her safety, the victim handed over her wallet and the culprit fled from the scene.

Officers from Tanglin Police Division set up a task force to quickly apprehend the suspect and solve the case. Extensive investigation and ground enquiries were conducted and officers were on vigilant lookout for the suspect, armed with a photo-fit of the culprit secured from the victim's account.

On 9 October 2013 at about 1 am, patrol officers from Tanglin Police Division spotted a suspect along Paterson Road befitting the suspect's description. The officers observed that the suspect was wearing the same attire as reported in the Claymore Hill robbery case, and upon checking, they also found a toy gun beneath his shirt. The suspect was placed under arrest.

The suspect will be charged in Court on 10 October 2013 for the offence of Robbery. The offence of Robbery by Night under Section 392 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, carries an imprisonment term of not less than three years and not more than 14 years and shall also be punished with caning with not less than 12 strokes.

Commander of Tanglin Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police (DAC) Lu Yeow Lim commended the officers for their excellent teamwork and perseverance resulting in the swift arrest of the suspect. He also advised members of public to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

They should always be wary of their surroundings, especially of suspicious persons who could be following them;

When confronted, they should remain calm. They should not put up a struggle especially if the culprit is armed with sharp objects like a knife or pen knife. They should try to take note as much details of the culprit as they possibly can, such as his appearance, clothing, height and other physical description. They should also take note of the culprit's direction and mode of escape;

Call the Police immediately at '999' as soon as it is safe to do so.