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Man who drugged elderly women at polyclinics to steal from them gets 7 years' corrective training

Man who drugged elderly women at polyclinics to steal from them gets 7 years' corrective training

Screengrab from Google Street View of Queenstown Polyclinic at 580 Stirling Road.

SINGAPORE: A serial thief previously jailed for drugging elderly women to steal from them was sentenced on Friday (Aug 7) to seven years' corrective training.

Corrective training is a separate regime from imprisonment, usually imposed on repeat offenders, with no early release.

Oh Koon Shin, 59, was given the sentence after pleading guilty to six charges of theft and causing women to take stupefying drugs, with five other charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

The prosecutor had called for a corrective training suitability report, labelling Oh a serial thief who preys on elderly women.

Oh has a string of previous convictions including similar offences, with two of these convictions involving identical modus operandi.

He reoffended shortly after being released from prison, targeting two elderly women at Queenstown Polyclinic.

On Sep 6 last year, he approached a 73-year-old woman waiting for her prescription and medication at the polyclinic after spotting her jade pendant.

He offered her the drug zopiclone, a hypnotic drug used for short-term treatment of insomnia, and said it would relieve her neck pain. She took the drug and became light-headed. 

Oh took her out of the polyclinic and stole her gold necklace with the jade pendant, along with S$400, gold rings and several cards.

A day later, the victim's granddaughter saw Oh outside the family's flat with a bunch of keys, but he had trouble finding a key to match the door.

Oh did the same with another 71-year-old woman at Queenstown Polyclinic on Sep 9 last year, following her into the clinic when he saw a stack of cash in her handbag.

He gave her the same drug, zopiclone, saying she had to take it before her check-up. Thinking he was an employee at the clinic, the 71-year-old took it. 

Oh later stole her bracelet and the woman's son reported S$2,500 being stolen from the victim.

Oh also went to a 72-year-old woman's flat and gave her zopiclone before ransacking the house and making away with cash and jewellery.

The penalties for drugging someone to commit theft are a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine or caning. Oh cannot be caned as he is above 50.

For each count of theft, he could be jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(ta)

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