A groom-to-be in Singapore will have to postpone his wedding plans as he will be spending two years and three months inside a prison cell for breaking in to a shopping center.
IT trainer Saw Yan Naing was reportedly hoping to raise money for the wedding expenses, so he decided to break into designer goods store HoBZ (House of Brandz) on the second story of The Arcade shopping center in Collyer Quay at around 2:15 a.m. on Dec. 30 last year, the Straits Times reported.
Saw, who pleaded guilty to housebreaking on Thursday Sept. 28, reportedly planned the heist the day before he proceeded to steal four Hermes bags and a Rolex watch worth 82,800 Singapore dollars ($61,000) in total.
Court documents revealed that each bag was valued between 7,700 ($5,700) and 29,000 Singapore dollars ($21,300) while the watch cost 7,500 Singapore dollars ($5,500). He said he was planning to use the money earned from selling the items for a wedding with his girlfriend from China.
It was revealed that Saw chose to rob The Arcade since he was already familiar with the layout of the building as he worked nearby. He also found an opportunity when a part of the shopping center was renovated and thus became much less secure.
“Before going to The Arcade, the accused disguised himself in order to avoid detection,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Shana Poon was quoted as saying. “He wore a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of long pants, a wig, a fake mustache and a cap. On his way to The Arcade, he also wore a surgical mask and a pair of gloves.”
Poon narrated that the thief was able to gain access to the building by using an entrance being renovated at around 11:10 p.m. on Dec. 29, last year. Using a ladder, he climbed and broke into the false ceiling of the corridor outside HoBZ House of Brandz. After crawling into the hole overhead, he was able to get inside the store.
Saw then turned the power source off, disabling the store’s security alarm and the CCTV. After gathering his loot, he fled through the hole in the ceiling then flew to China five hours later. He then sold some of the stolen items off at a Chinese shop and gave the rest to his girlfriend.
Housebreaking in Singapore carries a minimum sentence of two years and a maximum of 14 years.
After admitting to his crime, his lawyer, T. M. Sinnadurai, said his client has expressed regrets for his actions.
“The accused understands the seriousness of the offense and is not making any excuses for what he had done,” Sinnadurai was quoted as saying.