Local jailed for auto theft, mischief, switching number plates

Fadley Faisal

The Magistrates’ Court recently sentenced a 33-year-old local man to 11 months’ jail for auto theft, causing mischief and using false number plates to conceal the actual car registration number.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sabrina binti Haji Mahmud’s statement of facts revealed that Mohammad Khairi bin Abdul Salam was arrested following a report at 8.30am on August 13 by the victim, on finding his car missing from a parking spot at a mini mart where he worked.

Police investigations revealed that some time between 9pm on August 12 and the early hours of the following day, the defendant had walked over to the shop, where he saw the car.

He used a pair of scissors to pry open the car door and rummaged the interior, until he came across a set of keys on the dashboard. He found the ignition key, started the engine and drove off.

The defendant obtained a pair of licence plates bearing the registration number BW 1534, which were used to conceal the actual registration number of KK 7266 on the front and rear of the stolen car.

He then drove back home to Kampong Pengkalan Batu, Jalan Mulaut-Limau Manis. Along the way, he threw the original licence plates into the river.

The defendant was arrested at 10am on August 17, at his house, where the car was also found.

Police investigations further revealed that the defendant had committed mischief by causing damage to the car.

On sentencing the defendant, Magistrate Mohammad Marzuqi bin Sabtu highlighted that the theft of a motor vehicle would generally deprive the owner from using their car as a main mode of transportation, and undoubtedly had caused a high level of inconvenience.

For the theft and mischief charges, the defendant was sentenced to 10 months in prison. The defendant was also ordered to settle BND1,000 fine for switching the car’s licence plates, to which he confirmed as being unable to pay and will be serving an additional one month in jail.