The Magistrate’s Court sentenced a 38-year-old local car thief to 10 months’ imprisonment yesterday.
Rizal Rizuan bin Zaini pleaded guilty to the charge levelled by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Firdaus bin Mohammad, who revealed that the defendant had stolen the car from the basement car park of a supermarket at Jalan Tengah in Sungai Liang on November 4.
Magistrate Kamaliah Fadhilah binti Haji Ibrahim heard that the defendant had struck up a WhatsApp conversation with a vehicle owner, under the pretence of wanting to purchase it.
They agreed on a BND900 deal upon meeting, following which Rizal Rizuan invited the owner to a nearby restaurant, with the car key left in the ignition.
Rizal Rizuan excused himself to go to the ATM to withdraw money. Instead, he went back to the car and drove off to a nearby mosque, where he had arranged to meet a buyer for the car.
He met the person and sold the car for BND500.
After 30 minutes, the car owner went back to his car only to find it missing. He filed a police report leading to the defendant’s arrest.
The defendant said he spent most of the money on a phone and food.
“The court has always taken a serious view on theft of vehicles. There is nothing much to consider for his mitigation, except his clean record and early guilty plea. On the other hand, the theft was clearly pre-meditated, to the extent that he had already arranged a meeting with the buyer of the car; this is an aggravating factor. He also received proceeds despite recovery of the stolen item,” the court said in handing out the sentence.