Police arrest vehicle thief after public tip-off

SINGAPORE - A 40-year old man believed to be responsible for a case of theft from vehicle around Clementi Avenue 5 has been apprehended by the police after a tip-off by a member of the public.

Mr Lee Kok Thiam, 52, who is a member of the Clementi Force (a residents' watch group in the Clementi constituency), was in the vicinity of Clementi Avenue 5 when he spotted a man behaving suspiciously near an unattended motorcycle on July 25 at about 1am. The police were immediately notified.

Officers from Clementi Police Division conducted a co-ordinated search and later managed to detain the suspect in the vicinity of Clementi Avenue 4. A cashcard in the suspect's possession, which is believed to be stolen, was seized as a case exhibit.

The suspect will be charged in Court on 26 Jul 2013 for an offence of Theft under Section 379 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum imprisonment term of 3 years, or a fine, or both.

Commander of Clementi Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police (DAC) Melvin Yong, commended Mr Lee Kok Thiam for his public-spiritedness. DAC Yong said, "Mr Lee is an active member of the neighbourhood residents' watch group and this is not the first time that he has contributed to a public-assisted arrest. Volunteers like Mr Lee are trained to look out for suspicious person or activity in their estate".

DAC Yong urged residents to join their local residents' watch groups and added, "More neighbours helping to look out for one another would surely send a strong deterrent message to potential criminals".

DAC Yong reminded members of the public to safeguard their vehicle against theft by adopting the following crime prevention measures:

- Park in well-lit areas;
- Install an anti-theft system;
- Remove cash-cards and other valuables for example laptops before leaving your vehicle, even if it is for a short while;
- Ensure that your vehicle has been secured properly. Wind up all windows and lock all doors of your vehicle; and
- Keep a lookout for suspicious characters in the vicinity before leaving. If you spot anyone tampering with other vehicles, take note of their appearance, attire, height, or any other distinctive physical features and call '999' for assistance.