SINGAPORE - The police are looking for an armed robbery suspect who threatened to blow up a pawnshop in Boon Lay on Saturday (July 28) after staging a failed robbery attempt using a knife and a replica gun.
Police said that at about 4.30pm, a man had entered the pawnshop located outside the Boon Lay MRT station, allegedly threatening the staff with a knife and what appeared to be a fake gun.
When the staff refused his demands to hand over the cash and jewellery, the man allegedly said he would blow up the shop with an object that he claimed to be an explosive device, said the police on Saturday night.
It added that the suspect then threw the object on to the counter and fled the pawnshop without taking any items.
The object was immediately thrown out of the pawnshop by the staff, who then called the police. No staff were injured in the incident.
The incident caused an exit at the MRT station to be temporarily closed while police checked the suspicious object.
It was later established that the object contained only some electrical components. The exit was reopened at about 6pm.
Releasing a video screenshot of the suspect, the police said the man is about 1.75m tall and was last seen wearing a pink turban, blue jacket and long brown pants.
The police had cordoned off an area between the MRT station and the nearby Jurong Point shopping mall at about 5pm.
Police officers directed people to stay away, and MRT staff stopped people from entering the station.
Police had said at about 5.30pm in a Facebook post that train operations were not affected. But a reader told The Straits Times that the East-West Line train he was on skipped the Boon Lay MRT station at around 5pm and went directly to Joo Koon station.
Police investigations are ongoing into the case, which has been classified under Section 4(A) of the Arms Offences Act. If convicted, a person committing an offence under this act can be punished by death.
Under the act, it includes those who try to use any arm in committing or attempting to commit the offences, regardless whether there was intention to cause physical injury to any person or property.
Anyone with information is requested to call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
All information will be kept strictly confidential, said the police.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.