SINGAPORE: Four men have been arrested in a case of armed robbery at a unit along Jurong Gateway Road, said the police on Friday (Nov 20).
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said it was alerted to the robbery at about 4.15pm on Thursday. It declined to confirm the exact location of the unit or the type of business that operates there.
Preliminary investigations found that three men, aged between 19 and 22, allegedly robbed the unit, SPF said in a news release.
"One of the men allegedly pointed a knife at a female staff, pulled her hair and demanded her to hand over the money in the unit," said SPF. "The men subsequently dragged her into a room within the unit to confine her, before fleeing with cash amounting to about S$48,000."
The police intelligence department and Clementi police division established the identities of the three men and arrested them within 12 hours. A 26-year-old man was also arrested for allegedly disposing of the knife believed to be used in committing the offence.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Mark E Kwan Szer said investigations had shown there was “some level of organisation” in the execution of the robbery.
“From our investigations thus far, we have established some level of organisation to carry out this robbery. They were conducting some form of reconnaissance before they struck the unit, they also were checking out the unit, whether there were people inside,” he told reporters.
“There was some level of planning but investigations are still ongoing and we’re trying to determine the extent of how organised they were.”
Police officers also found a piece of garment thrown on the ground near the crime scene, said DAC Marc E, noting that the men made an attempt to disguise themselves by changing their attire.
Following the robbery, the men fled on foot - and part of their escape also involved a getaway vehicle, said DAC Marc E, who is also the commander of Clementi police division.
Officers made use of CCTV footage as well as accounts of eyewitness to track the suspects down, he added.
“Subsequently, there was an attempt to evade arrest but we managed to apprehend them,” he said.
The fourth suspect was tracked down following the arrest of the three men.
About S$30,000 of the stolen money has been recovered, and the police are working to recover the rest, said SPF.
“The men involved in the armed robbery displayed an egregious disregard for the law. Despite their efforts to hide their identities, officers from the Singapore Police Force worked tirelessly to quickly establish their identities and arrested them within 24 hours,” said DAC Marc E.
“This case exemplifies the police's relentless commitment in pursuing such criminals to bring them to justice.”
The four men will be charged in court on Saturday with armed robbery with hurt, which carries a jail term of between five and 20 years, and a minimum of 12 strokes of the cane.