CNA – A man was sentenced to three weeks’ jail yesterday for stealing eight tins of milk powder from a supermarket, as well as toys from a Toys R Us store.
Chen Yixian, Joshua, 34, said he stole the milk powder to sell on Carousell, but claimed he filched the toys for his children.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of theft. A third charge – of having another six tins of milk powder in his possession that he could not account for, and that are suspected to be stolen – was taken into consideration.
The court heard that Chen, a Singaporean technician, went to NTUC FairPrice at Waterway Point on the night of June 22 last year, to steal milk. He took eight 900 gramme tins worth SGD422.40 in total.
He then hid himself behind a pillar and concealed the tins in a blue cooler bag he brought with him, before leaving the supermarket at about 9.15pm.
A security guard on duty at the supermarket saw Chen stealing the powder and detained him outside.
He took him to the security office, where the eight tins were recovered.The guard also found other items bearing Toys R Us labels in the bag.
He was arrested and admitted that he intended to sell the milk powder for profit on Carousell.
Chen’s case is one of 80 involving milk powder stolen from supermarkets or grocers last year, according to figures released by the police in January. This led to estimated losses of SGD27,000.
Most offenders over the last three years were aged between their 20s to 40s, the police said, adding that around 35 per cent of such cases were carried out in groups of two or more.
The prosecutor asked for three weeks’ jail.
Chen’s lawyer, Wasiur Rehman, said his client was a hardworking man with a “difficult and lonely childhood which led him to develop certain perspectives of his duties as a married man”.
He also took on “burdens and stresses” which led him to “make these mistakes”, said the lawyer.
“He’s actually an honest, good and hard-working person,” he added. The judge told Chen that he hoped this would be his first and last offence. He asked Chen to learn from this and not commit any other offence. He also asked Chen to stay behind after the session to speak to a court counsellor.