SINGAPORE: A 36-year-old man on Monday (Apr 1) admitted to stealing more than S$1,000 worth of toys from Toys "R" Us for his children.
Kwok Woei Jie, who was jobless at the time, stole toys including a Lego set, a NERF toy gun and Monopoly Cash Grab sets from Toys "R" Us stores over three days in January.
He pleaded guilty on Monday to three charges of theft, with a fourth charge taken into consideration.
The court heard that Kwok stole a S$279.99 Porsche 911 Lego set and S$529.99 Gundam Astray Red Frame Kai from the Toys "R" Us outlet at Punggol's Waterway Point mall on Jan 9, 2019.
He returned to the same store a few weeks later on Jan 21, where he placed three toys worth about S$300 in total into a plastic bag and left without paying for them. The store manager was observing him, however, and followed him outside where he detained him and escorted him back to the store.
The manager then retrieved the items and called the police. After this, he recognised Kwok from his previous visits to the store and checked closed-circuit television footage, where he realised that Kwok had stolen items on Jan 9.
Four days later, Kwok stole from a different Toys "R" Us, this time at City Square mall in Kitchener Road.
He took four toys worth about S$100 in total, concealing them in his pockets, but paid for two bottled drinks.
The store manager at this outlet realised that Kwok looked familiar and checked a group chat on her phone for the various outlets.
She then realised that Kwok had recently been arrested for stealing from the Waterway Point outlet, and detained him outside the store when he left, recovering the stolen toys.
In court on Monday, Kwok, who was unrepresented, said he had stolen the toys for his two children, who are now in Primary 1 and Primary 3.
He was jobless at the time, he said, and now makes money making midnight deliveries. His wife does not work and is a housewife.
"I admit to what I've done," he said. "I did not intend to sell them for cash."
He will return to court for mitigation and sentencing this Friday. For each count of theft in dwelling, he may be jailed for up to seven years and fined.