26-year-old Zhao Huipeng, stole $10,994 in coins and notes from coin exchange machines located in 15 laundromats across Singapore, according to Channel NewsAsia.
He pleaded guilty to 8 charges of theft and cheating and was sentenced on 2 November to 25 weeks imprisonment, with another 13 charges being considered for his sentencing.
Zhao first stole from his female housemate who shared with him her ATM card pin because he needed money to pay his family’s bills, using her card to withdraw $1,000 on 30 June 2021 without her permission or knowledge.
The following month, Zhao then noticed that his coworker’s locker was not locked and looked through the contents of the locker, taking pictures of a debit card that was inside a wallet and using it to transfer SGD$293 (1,600 yuan) into his own WeChat wallet.
The victim lodged a police report about 4 days later.
Zhao subsequently lost his job and needed money, so he resorted to stealing cash from coin exchange machines in laundromats that were unmanned, before planning to return to China.
He would visit the laundromats at night when there were fewer people and wear a black hat and white gloves to hide his identity.
He would then pry open the coin exchange machines using a screwdriver and take the coins and notes that were inside, with the whole process taking him less than 5 minutes.
He stole a total of $10,994 from 15 laundromats between July 2021 and September 2021, at places such as Hougang, Bedok and Choa Chu Kang.
His biggest loot was from a Mister Wash outlet at Bedok Reservoir Road, where he stole $2,000 in cash.
His crimes were caught on CCTV and his actions damaged the coin exchange machines.