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Friday, March 1, 2024
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THIEF CAUGHT REDHANDED STEALING FROM GEYLANG UNIT, TELLS RESIDENT: “I’M YOUR FRIEND”

In a concerning turn of events, a man previously sentenced to six years’ corrective training for breaking into a home found himself entangled in a similar situation upon his release.

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According to Channel NewsAsia, Muhammad Salim, 52, faced charges of theft and housebreaking with the intention to steal, shedding light on the challenges in reforming repeat offenders within the corrective training framework.

A History of Offenses

Salim’s legal troubles began in 2016 when he was convicted of lurking house-trespass or house-breaking to commit an offense. This led to a significant sentence of six years’ corrective training, a form of rehabilitation aimed at correcting the behavior of repeat offenders.

Released in November 2021 under a “Release on License” scheme, Salim resided in a halfway house. However, he chose to abscond from this controlled environment, resuming his criminal activities.

Post-Release Crimes

Salim’s return to criminal behavior started with stealing items worth S$1,300, including a phone and a driving license, from a sleeping individual in Geylang on Jan 16, 2022.

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Just three days later, Salim climbed into an apartment in Guillemard by scaling a fence. Once inside, he pilfered items totaling approximately S$1,850, including jewelry and watches, from a couple.

On Jan 21, 2022, fueled by the consumption of up to 10 Epam tablets, Salim targeted a unit at 464A Geylang Road. Entering through an unlocked door, he ransacked the living room, accumulating items valued at over S$4,000, such as a laptop, power banks, tampon boxes, wallets, and shoes.

Caught in the Act

Salim’s latest crime took an unexpected turn when a resident of the Geylang unit caught him in the act. Confronted by the resident, Salim bizarrely claimed, “I am your friend,” as he attempted to exit.

Realizing the intrusion, the woman raised an alarm, and with the help of her housemates, managed to detain Salim until the arrival of law enforcement.

Legal Repercussions

Facing charges of theft and housebreaking, Salim pleaded guilty to three charges on Jan 29, with an additional three charges to be considered during sentencing.

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Salim’s case raises questions about the efficacy of corrective training in reforming repeat offenders. Despite the stringent measures, some individuals, upon release, revert to criminal behavior, showcasing the challenges in breaking the cycle of recidivism.

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