Thursday , January 21 2021

A teenager receives a suspended sentence for shoplifting while armed with a knife

SINGAPORE: A teenager planned a robbery by writing down in a notebook details of what he would wear, what he would steal and how he would commit it.

He appeared on a minibar in Kembangan in a surgical mask, jacket and hat, holding a knife and saying “da kiang” or a robbery in Mandarin. In response, the cashier told him to enter the store and fled to another store for help.

The teenager, who could not be named under the Children and Youth Act because he was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime, received a suspended sentence of 27 months on Wednesday (November 25th). His mitigation lawyer said his client was having trouble getting to school.

The 16-year-old will have to stay in a Singapore boy hostel for six months, undergo regular urine tests and psychiatric or psychological assessments of his drug and alcohol use.

The court heard that the teenager stated in his notebook that he would wear a hat, sunglasses, a mask, a hood, trousers and covered shoes during the robbery. He planned to bring a knife and a large bag and smash his weapon before stealing all his cigarettes and cash.

He also listed the prices of cigarette packs in his notebook and planned to sell them for money.

At around 5.20am on February 14 this year, the teenager went to the New Ekon Lin Da Mini Supermarket at block 110 Langong Tiga. He saw the cashier, a 58-year-old man, standing in front of the entrance and approached him.

The teenager pointed his knife at the man and told him “da kiang”, which means robbery in Mandarin. Frightened, the cashier told the teenager that he should enter the store alone if he wanted to rob her.

The man then ran to a nearby store to ask for help, while the teenager entered the minimart alone. He was not able to open the cash register to steal the cash as he had planned, so he took 42 packs of cigarettes worth 571.20 C from a drawer.

The teenager then put the cigarettes in his backpack and headed home, keeping the items in his bedroom.

The owner of the minimart later called the police, saying that a man with a knife went to the store to rob her and took a lot of cigarettes, and the events were recorded on closed-circuit television.

Police found the teenager at his home and arrested him. They found the cigarettes and the notebook with details of his plans.

The teenager pleaded guilty to one count of robbery. His lawyer, Luke Lee, said his client was having trouble coping with his schooling, and the teenager’s parents placed a bond of 5,000 SV to ensure good behavior during probation.

For robbery while armed with a deadly weapon, he could be jailed for three to 14 years and receive at least 12 cane blows.

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