SINGAPORE: A man who stole a tap from a police station in Woodlands and installed it in his own home was jailed for three months on Thursday (Aug 15).
Seah Kian Li, 50, was at Woodlands Police Division HQ on Mar 1 to bail his brother out from the police station when he filched the tap worth S$171.20 from the basin.
The theft was discovered almost a month later on Mar 28, when a cleaning supervisor noticed that a tap was missing from the toilet.
Madam Hanisah Isnin reported it to the facility manager for the police station, who conducted some checks and reported the matter to a divisional logistics officer for Woodlands Police Division.
The officer checked closed-circuit television footage and saw Seah unscrewing the basin tap and taking it away.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers told CNA after the hearing that the CCTV camera in question was not in the toilet.
"It was facing the entrance of the male toilet. The accused’s acts can be seen as he opened the door of the toilet, and left it open," said the spokesman.
After Seah was identified, the officer lodged a police report at Woodlands West Neighbourhood Police Centre on Apr 16.
The tap thief's home was raided and the stolen basin tap was found fixed on the basin in his toilet.
It was recovered and seized as a case exhibit and Seah was arrested.
He later admitted that he had gone to the toilet while at the station that night to bail his brother out when he noticed that a tap at the basins was loose.
He checked it and realised that it was suitable for his home toilet basin, and decided to steal it.
He unscrewed the tap with his hands and took it home, despite knowing it was public property belonging to the Government of the Republic of Singapore, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Foo Shi Hao.
Seah pleaded guilty to one charge of vandalism on Thursday. The prosecutor said he would leave the handling of the seized tap to the police.
For vandalism, Seah could have been jailed for up to three years or fined a maximum S$2,000.