A duo who pleaded guilty to a charge of auto theft and abetting was sentenced to 12 months’ jail in the Magistrate’s Court on Saturday.
Acting Senior Magistrate Pengiran Hazirah binti Pengiran Haji Mohd Yusof took into account permanent resident Shafwan Hafizul bin Abdullah Hindri, 20, and local Mohd Hafizdzul bin Abdul Rahman, 33, having a clear record without any conviction for offences against property and that the stolen property was recovered. However, the court took a stern stance that the car was recovered due to police investigations and because the action was caught on CCTV.
“Otherwise they would’ve gotten away with the crime,” the court said adding that the theft of a vehicle is viewed seriously by court as it inconveniences the owner and causes hardship.
The court was also of the view that “aiding of the theft is just as serious.”
Shafwan Hafizul and Mohd Hafizdzul went in a car to the parking lot of Tutong Central Mall at 9pm on June 27 where they saw a vehicle. They returned at 4am the following day and parked their car next to the other vehicle.
Shafwan Hafizul alighted the car and went towards the other vehicle and opened its door and then bonnet. It was left unlocked.
Shafwan Hafizul asked Mohd Hafizdzul to switch the batteries of their car with the other car. After switching batteries, Shafwan Hafizul started its engine and drove away.
The victim realised his car was missing and upon checking CCTV footage from a camera installed at the mall building, found the defendants in action. He filed a police report leading to the defendants’ arrest. DPP Ahmad Firdaus bin Mohammad prosecuted.