SINGAPORE: A 51-year-old man has been arrested for stealing prayer urns that were placed outside homes in Bukit Merah.
The police said on Wednesday (Jun 9) that they received reports on Monday of metal urns stolen from two homes along Jalan Bukit Merah.
With the aid of footage from police cameras, officers identified the suspect and arrested him the same day.
Preliminary investigations found that the man is believed to be involved in other similar cases of theft of prayer urns in the neighbourhood, the police said.
MP Melvin Yong (PAP-Radin Mas) said on Facebook on Sunday that a resident alerted him to the thefts. One resident's prayer urn, which was hanging outside his flat in front of his main door, was missing.
"He believed that someone had cut the metal chain and stolen the prayer urn which had been placed outside his home for more than a decade," he wrote.
Several other residents also said their metal urns were missing or there were visible attempts to take the urns.
"There appears to be a serial thief in the neighbourhood and we have requested the police to step up their patrols in the estate," Mr Yong said.
Investigations are ongoing. If convicted of theft, the suspect could be jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.
In a separate case, a 35-year-old man was arrested after cash was stolen from a donation box in a temple along Ubi Road 4.
The police said they were alerted to the case on Monday. The suspect was identified through investigations and closed-circuit television footage, and was arrested the following day.
The man is believed to be involved in at least eight other cases of theft, the police said.
He will be charged in court on Thursday. If convicted of theft in dwelling, he could be jailed for up to seven years and fined.