Repeat offender broke into homes and posed as cop

SINGAPORE - By day, he was jobless.

But Henry Tan's nightly occupation included breaking into houses and impersonating a police officer.

Yesterday, the 27-year-old repeat offender was sent to jail for five years.

He pleaded guilty last month to four charges of housebreaking by night and other offences, with three others taken into consideration.

This is the second time Tan had been sent for corrective training, a tough prison regime for repeat offenders, without remission for good behaviour.

He was given a similar sentence in 2006 for theft, robbery with hurt, unlawful assembly and causing hurt.

The court heard that Tan was at Block 827, Woodlands Street 81, late on June 18 last year when he managed to unlock a unit's aluminium grille and climb in. He stole two knives from the kitchen.

A 19-year-old tenant saw him, hid in the toilet and started screaming.

Another tenant, Mr Lim Jiin Hwen, 26, came out, and Tan threatened him with the knife.

Mr Lim was injured when he tried to disarm Tan, who dropped the knife and fled out of the same window.

Then, on Nov 22 last year, Tan and co-accused Spencer Ang Han Boon, 24, posed as police officers and entered a unit at Lorong 30 Geylang.

They asked Bangladeshi construction worker Mokter Hossian Lingcon Sirajiul Islam for his work permit.

When the 27-year-old saw tattoos on Tan's arms, he became suspicious and asked for Tan's police pass. Tan flashed a Resorts World casino card instead.

The worker recognised the card and confronted Tan. A dispute broke out, then a scuffle.

Both Tan and his accomplice were locked in as they tried to escape.

When the police arrived, Ang had managed to flee, but Tan was detained. Police found Mr Mokter Hossian's wallet, containing $226, on Tan.

Sergeant Khoo Kian Leng, 37, was escorting Tan to a police car when Tan headbutted him in the face, bruising his left eye area.

Ang has been charged, and his case is pending.

This article was published on April 24 in The Straits Times.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.