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Woman jailed for stealing copies of newspapers from doorsteps

SINGAPORE: A woman who stole copies of The Straits Times and The New Paper from doorsteps of Housing Board flats was sentenced to jail for four weeks and 10 days on Wednesday (May 29).

Wong Kee Heay, a 59-year-old jobless woman, had also stolen groceries from a lorry. She pleaded guilty to five charges of theft, with another seven taken into consideration.

Wong had stolen 10 newspapers worth S$1 to S$1.10 that were tucked into gates of flats in Ang Mo Kio between November last year and March this year. 

A newspaper vendor made a police report once in December last year and again in March this year after receiving many complaints from newspaper subscribers who said their papers went missing.

In one instance, police camera (POLCAM) footage showed Wong behaving suspiciously at about 4am at Block 346 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 on Dec 18 last year.

Closed-camera television footage from a unit showed Wong walking down the corridor empty-handed and returning 30 seconds later with a newspaper in her hand, said State Prosecuting Officer Raj Kishore Rai.

On Mar 12 this year, a colleague of the newspaper vendor saw Wong at a block in Ang Mo Kio before being told by a newspaper subscriber that they had not received their paper.

POLCAM footage showed Wong leaving seven minutes after the newspaper deliveryman left the papers at Block 328 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 at 4.40am.

Further investigations found that Wong had similarly left the area after the deliveryman at about 4.30am on Mar 6.

The newspaper vendor who filed the police reports said he incurred more than S$20 in losses for each additional delivery to replace the missing newspapers.

Wong admitted to taking the papers. Of her jail sentence, 10 days were an enhanced sentence, as she had committed the newspaper thefts while on remission for previous offences.

Other than stealing papers, she had stolen bread and frozen pork from a delivery lorry parked at Block 712 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 at about 5.40am on Jul 29, 2017.

She returned the items to the delivery driver after he detained her and called the police.

For each count of theft, she could have been jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(hm)


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