Man jailed, fined for stealing 11 crabs from House of Seafood and not wearing mask properly

Man jailed, fined for stealing 11 crabs from House of Seafood and not wearing mask properly

House of Seafood crabs
Raw crabs at the House of Seafood. (Photo: Facebook/House of Seafood)

SINGAPORE: A man who stole 11 live crabs worth more than S$800 from a seafood restaurant in Punggol was jailed for a week on Thursday (Jul 22).

Abdul Karim Mohamad, 60, was also fined S$1,000 for failing to wear a mask properly while dishonestly taking two bags of groceries left briefly at a lift lobby in Sengkang.

The court heard that Abdul Karim was unemployed at the time of the theft in September 2020.

He was at Punggol Settlement with his younger brother at 7.45pm on Sep 21 last year when they saw a large fish tank at the House of Seafood restaurant. There were multiple live crabs inside.

He began removing crabs and placing them in a plastic bag that he handed to his brother.

The pair then tried to flee the restaurant, with five large crabs worth S$140 each and six other crabs worth S$29 each.

A customer at the restaurant alerted the manager, who shouted at the brothers. 

They ran but were eventually caught by staff members and made to return the crabs. A Punggol jetty officer called the police shortly after.

READ: Seafood restaurant CEO bows in apology for live crab claw machine, says approval wasn't given

Abdul Karim pleaded guilty to one charge of theft-in-dwelling and another count of failing to wear a mask properly without reasonable excuse. A third charge of dishonestly misappropriating groceries was taken into consideration.

THE GROCERY CHARGE

The grocery incident happened on the night of Oct 8, 2020. A man had left two bags at the lift lobby of a block in Sengkang when Abdul Karim walked by.

Police camera footage showed him at the lift lobby at about 8.40pm with his face mask pulled down to his chin and his nose and mouth not covered.

When the victim returned in under 10 minutes, he could not find the groceries. He made a police report the next day.

The judge said she was told that Abdul Karim turned up in court on Thursday "reeking of alcohol".

He told the judge that he "did not drink alcohol today". After some prompting, he said he last drank the day before.

Abdul Karim initially said that the groceries were placed at an area where people usually discard their things, but later admitted that he wanted to resell the items for money so he could buy food.

The prosecutor asked for a week's jail and a S$1,000 fine, listing Abdul Karim's past convictions. These include theft convictions in 1980 and 2003, as well as drug-related offences.

In mitigation, Abdul Karim asked for a fine and the lightest sentence possible, saying he suffered from asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes.

For theft in dwelling, he could have been jailed up to seven years and fined. For not wearing a mask properly, he could have been jailed up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

His brother was given a 12-month conditional warning for receiving stolen property.

Source: CNA/ll(gs)

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