Man says sorry for stealing e-bike in Yishun but owner wants him to fork out $2,000

This e-bike thief (above) was caught red-handed in Woodlands after stealing an e-bike from Yishun.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Instagram/Singapore Incidents

Caught red-handed, this thief was willing to return the e-bike to its rightful owner - but that's not all the owner wanted from him.

In a video uploaded to the SgfollowsAll Admin Instagram page today (June 6), a man confronted an e-bike thief at a HDB void deck in Woodlands after the thief allegedly stole it from him in Yishun.

In the two-minute-long video, the e-bike owner first approached the man while the latter was fiddling with the rear of an e-bike with tools. Beside the thief was a toolbox and a line of other e-bikes.

"Brother, why you steal my bike?" The owner questioned. "You want to settle this peacefully, or [what do you want]?"

When the surprised man vehemently denied that he had stolen any e-bikes, the owner threatened to call the police and said that he had "already [made a] police report".

The thief then repeatedly asked the owner to "wait", then stood up and retrieved his belongings from the owner's stolen e-bike saying: "Paiseh bro, you can take back [the bike]."

This enraged the owner who claimed he was a delivery driver and felt that the thief hadn't just stolen his e-bike but also wasted his time and effort, making him lose opportunities to earn money.

After some back-and-forth between the two, they came to a compromise where the owner instructed the thief to apologise for stealing his e-bike along with additional conditions.

The thief was made to acknowledge on the same video that he stole the e-bike and that he would pay $2,000 to the owner, which he agreed to do.

"You will [make a] private settlement," the e-bike owner stated in the video, "by paying $2,000 in two-weeks' time."

If the thief reneged on this, he will file a police report, the owner told the thief to say.

It is unclear when this incident took place.

While some comments called out the thief for stealing the e-bike, others felt that the owner's demands were too much.

"[The way he asked] for $2,000 [was] threatening," a user commented on the Instagram post. "Even though [the thief is] wrong, [the owner is] also wrong - he just wants to get the bike and a free $2,000."

PHOTO: Screengrab/Instagram/Adminsgfollowsall

Multiple user comments on a Facebook mirror of this video on the Singapore Incidents Facebook page also asserted that both parties were in the wrong.

"If you report to police, [the thief] is wrong, if you extort him for money, you are wrong," a Facebook comment said. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Singapore Incidents

Said another: "Just make a police report, why try [to] settle it yourself? [Resorting] to extortion is a crime."

Another user, however, felt that the owner was justified in asking for monetary compensation.

"Every day that the owner of the e-bike isn't able to earn a living through grab delivery because he doesn't have the bike with him is income lost," the user stated. "He is at liberty to bill the thief even in court."

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Singapore Incidents

This isn't the first time a thief has been caught in the act and has apologised for it.

Last month, a man was caught stealing a bicycle in Paya Lebar and insincerely apologised for it and allegedly started throwing punches when the owner tried to call the police.

READ ALSO: Delivery rider seen walking away with shoes he allegedly took from condo; Foodpanda investigating

khooyihang@asiaone.com