Duo gets jail time, caning in auto theft case

Fadley Faisal

Two local men were recently given jail and caning sentences by the Magistrate’s Court after they pleaded guilty to auto theft and related offences.

Mohammad Sahrol bin Haron, 30, was sentenced to 21 months’ jail and two strokes of the cane after he confirmed being unable to settle a compensation order of BND1,990.

Meanwhile, Mas Ronie bin Mohd Jawi, 38, was ordered to serve nine months’ jail.

Magistrate Dewi Norlelawati binti Haji Abdul Hamid handed down the sentences, bearing in mind the seriousness of the offences, by depriving the owners of their belongings and causing them to suffer from substantial losses.

The court also noted Mohammad Sahrol’s lack of remorse on having served jail from previous convictions.

“A custodial sentence would be appropriate to deter the defendants and other like-minded persons from committing the same, as public consideration is paramount,” the Magistrate said on handing the punishments befitting the crimes.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sabrina binti Mahmud informed the court that a person was about to perform Subuh prayer at the mosque at 4am on February 19, when he found his car missing from the parking spot outside a house in Kampong Selayun, Jalan Sengkurong ‘B’.

Police investigations led to the duo’s arrests. It emerged that Mohammad Sahrol had taken a paid ride to see a friend in Sungai Tampoi at 11pm on February 18. Not finding his friend at home, Mohammad Sahrol decided to walk around Kampong Selayun and came across the car at the house compound.

He entered the compound, opened the car door and started the engine using a pair of tweezers he had brought along. He drove the car back home in Kampong Rimba.

Mohammad Sahrol then brought the car to another person’s house in Kampong Jerudong the following morning to borrow tools. He worked on the car right away, causing damage to it by extracting the radio player and disconnecting an air cleaner hose from the engine.

Just before setting out for home, he was unable to start the car engine. He pried open the steering main switch, ignited the engine by ‘hot-wiring’ it and then left. Later that night, he drove around Kampong Katok ‘B’ where he stumbled upon a pair of registration plates, which he used as replacements on the stolen car. He discarded the original registration plates, as well as the car’s blue card and insurance documents.

On the way home, he stopped near an electrical substation, where he spray-painted the car’s front bonnet and fuel lid black. At midnight on February 21, Mohammad Sahrol brought the stolen car to Mas Ronie’s house in RPN Kampong Rimba Gadong, where he offered it for sale.

Mohammad Sahrol did not spare the details of the car being stolen to Mas Ronie. In spite of this, Mas Ronie agreed to buying it off Mohammad Sahrol for BND50. Mas Ronie kept and used the car up to his arrest, during which he also added a spoiler and an antenna to the car.