In a perplexing turn of events, a repeat offender, Sng Cheow Sim, found himself back in court for a crime eerily similar to his previous conviction.
This time, the seasoned thief not only refused to disclose the whereabouts of his ill-gotten gains but also made no attempts at restitution.
According to Channel NewsAsia, Sng’s criminal saga began with a conviction in 2022 for pilfering Panadol worth S$250. Despite serving time, he found himself on remission, setting the stage for a bizarre recurrence.
Repeat Offence: A Bold Heist
In August, Sng walked into a supermarket at Ang Mo Kio Hub with a mission — to clear the shelves of Panadol. His audacious act involved stealing 30 boxes of the medication, valued at S$330.
The entire incident was captured on closed-circuit television cameras. A vigilant security guard attempted to thwart Sng’s heist but lost him in the pursuit. The subsequent police report detailed the first of Sng’s brazen thefts.
Unapologetic Repeat: Second Heist
Undeterred by the close call, Sng revisited the same supermarket on Aug 21. This time, he escalated his thievery, making away with 36 boxes of various Panadol variants, leaving the shelf bare.
What adds to the perplexity is Sng’s unapologetic stance. Despite being identified and arrested, he refused to divulge any information regarding the stolen items, leaving the authorities and the supermarket in the dark.
The court, not amused by Sng’s blatant disregard for the law, sentenced him to two years in jail, with an additional 47 days for offending while on remission.
State Prosecuting Officer Lim Yeow Leong argued for a stringent penalty, citing Sng’s history of property-related offences. He painted Sng as a “recalcitrant and persistent offender” who remained undeterred by previous convictions.
In a surprising turn, Sng, without legal representation, pleaded for a more lenient sentence. He cited his mother’s battle with cancer, expressing a desire for a chance at redemption.
The judge, while acknowledging Sng’s plea, urged him to break the cycle of criminality. Expressing genuine concern, the judge offered words of encouragement for Sng’s rehabilitation.
The monetary value of the stolen Panadol reached approximately S$970, a substantial increase compared to his previous conviction.
Sng’s repetitive offences raised questions about the efficacy of the previous sentence. The judge highlighted the strikingly similar fact pattern, indicating a lack of deterrence.
Sng’s acknowledgment of his repeated incarcerations revealed a sense of futility in his actions. The judge, while stern, expressed hope for Sng’s transformation.
Sng, despite his criminal past, expressed a genuine desire to become a better person, the judge in return, wished him all the best and told him “don’t come back okay.”