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Man given 27 months' jail for abetting housebreaking and theft

Tan Chun Wen was sentenced to jail for helping his friend break into a mobile phone shop he worked in.

SINGAPORE: A man was sentenced on Wednesday (May 28) to 27 months' jail for helping his friend break into a shop he was employed in.

Tan Chun Wen was a sales assistant at a mobile phone shop at New Upper Changi Road, when the offence took place on December 28, 2013.

The 25-year-old's friend, Lim Chain Chuen, had told Tan that he was in financial difficulties due to gambling and asked for help to break into the shop to steal things.

Tan told Lim that the shop's cash register had about S$10,000. Tan was promised S$5,000 if he would help Lim with the break-in. Tan agreed and handed the key of the shop's front roller shutter to Lim so that he could duplicate it.

Around midnight, Lim entered the shop using the duplicated key and stole about S$10,600 in cash and four phones valued at around S$4,000. A manager of the shop then made a police report after break-in triggered the alarm. Following investigations, Tan and Lim were arrested on January 2, 2014.

In his mitigation plea, Tan's lawyer, Mr Edmund Wong, said Tan had not committed the offence directly. He added that Tan had agreed to help in a moment of folly because Lim kept on pestering him, and felt obligated because of their long friendship

The prosecution countered that Tan, by handing over the key to the shop, played a major role in the break-in.

In sentencing, the District Judge agreed with the prosecution since the key was material in the fulfillment of the offence.  

Lim, aged 25, was sentenced earlier this month to 27 months' jail for the offence.  

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