SINGAPORE: A serial underwear thief who has been in and out of court since 1981 for related offences was on Thursday (Mar 5) jailed for one-and-a-half years on more theft charges.
Yeow Mun Seng, 57, was also given an additional 65 days' jail because he had reoffended while on remission for similar offences of stealing underwear.
Yeow pleaded guilty to two charges of theft, with another four charges taken into consideration.
The court heard that Yeow was released from prison on remission from Dec 27, 2019 to Feb 29, 2020. He had been sentenced to 16 months' jail in 2018.
He began breaking the law again immediately after his release, taking a red banner worth S$160 from the corridor of a flat in Woodlands on Dec 27 last year.
Yeow had been walking along the corridor looking for something to steal when he saw the red banner, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua.
He took the banner and sniffed it, before leaving with it. He later threw it away into a rubbish chute. The item was never recovered.
On Jan 5, Yeow stole a red bra from a common corridor at another block in Woodlands.
The next day, Yeow stole a green bra belonging to a student that had been hung out to dry on a rack outside a flat at yet another block in Woodlands.
He looked around to make sure no one was around, before taking the bra, sniffing it and leaving with it.
He later threw the S$30 bra away at a rubbish chute. It was never recovered.
Yeow was arrested on Jan 7. Several items were found in his possession, including a skirt, 13 ladies' tops, 21 dresses, two bras, 11 pairs of panties and 13 pieces of cloth.
He could not give a satisfactory explanation as to how these items came into his possession, and they are suspected to be stolen property.
PROSECUTOR LISTS HIS PAST OFFENCES
Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua asked for at least 20 months' jail and an additional enhanced sentence of 65 days for offending while on remission.
She pointed out Yeow's list of offences over the years from 1981: He was jailed in 1981 for fraudulent possession of property, and more than five times again after that for theft and fraudulent possession of property.
Several of these offences involved theft of underwear, and Yeow was given escalating jail terms for each conviction.
Ms Chua said the offences committed while on remission were the same as the ones he had been sentenced for in 2018.
Yeow, who was unrepresented, asked for leniency and a lighter sentence.
The judge asked: "On what basis? When you have been reoffending and reoffending. You must recognise that every time you come back for court for a similar offence, your sentence is going to get higher and higher. It's never going to get lower and lower."
For theft, he could have been jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.