SINGAPORE - Finding himself short of cash, he cooked up a plan to grab some.
Lee Heong Chye, 35, arrived at a hawker centre near a Geylang Bahru car park in the morning to look for someone he could rob.
He waited for about seven hours before he found his target - Ms Chung Yi Ren, who was returning to her parked car.
Lee then pointed a pen knife at her, took over her car and drove it as she sat in the front passenger seat.
He robbed her of items worth $2,251, including cash, an iPhone 5 and a watch. He also took her ATM cards.
Yesterday, the Malaysian admitted to armed robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, and possession and consumption of a controlled substance.
He was sentenced to 54 months' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.
Lee, a contract worker for Koway Glass, will also be disqualified from driving for five years upon his release.
Court documents revealed that he went to the hawker centre at 9.15am on Dec 1 last year, carrying a pouch that contained a penknife and duct tape that he planned to use on his victim.
He made sure that he was in a position to observe the cars going into the carpark.
Around 4pm, Lee spotted Ms Chung, 33, drive in, park her car and leave. She returned 20 minutes later.
While she was placing her belongings on the front passenger seat, Lee opened the driver's door.
He pointed a penknife at her and instructed her to take the front passenger seat while he sat in the driver's seat.
Lee then pointed the penknife at her waist area and warned her not to make any noise.
As he rummaged through Ms Chung's handbag and fished out her car key, she tried to escape.
He swatted her hand away from the door handle and asked her to buckle the seat belt. Ms Chung refused at first but complied after he scolded her.