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5 teens charged with vandalism in roof graffiti case

Five youths - all aged 17 - were charged on Saturday morning over their alleged involvement in the Toa Payoh vandalism case, where the roof of a HDB block was painted with graffiti containing profanities.

SINGAPORE: Five teenagers, believed to be behind the vandalism at the rooftop of a Toa Payoh HDB block, were charged in court on Saturday.

They were arrested on Friday - two days after the vandalism was first spotted by residents.

The five 17-year-olds were brought to the State Courts in a police van early on Saturday morning.

Sporting casual clothes and shaved heads, Reagan Tan, Boaz Koh, Chay Nam Shen, Goh Rong Liang, and David William Graaskov were expressionless as the charges of vandalism with common intention were read to them.

Goh asked to make a phone call to inform his family of his arrest, as he had been arrested at work.

His request was declined by the district judge, who then directed the police prosecutor to get the investigating officer to inform the boy's family.

The five are believed to be responsible for graffiti that was spray-painted on the rooftop walls of Block 85A, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh.

The graffiti contained vulgarities directed at Singapore's ruling party.

The police prosecutor told the court that the five teenagers were also believed to be involved in other similar cases.

They have been remanded a week for further investigations, and will be back in court on May 16.

It is still not clear how the vandals managed to get to the rooftop of the 22-storey block as investigations by the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council indicated there was no breach of security measures.

This was according to the coordinating chairman for the People's Action Party (PAP) Town Councils Dr Teo Ho Pin.

Vandalism carries a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to S$2,000 and at least three strokes of the cane. 

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