SINGAPORE — A male teenager who stole laundry items such as primary school clothing to perform sexual acts with them at a staircase landing was given a probation term of 21 months on Wednesday (25 August).
The teen had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, with two others taken into consideration for his sentencing. One count under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act for possessing stolen items was also considered. He had targeted three flat units in the west of Singapore over the course of his offences from September last year to February this year.
He cannot be named as he was under 18 at the time of the offences.
As part his probation conditions, the teen, now 19, will have to serve 50 hours of community service and abide by a time curfew. He will also be placed on electronic monitoring for a year, or until he enlists into National Service.
In the meantime, he will also have to attend counselling to treat his behaviour and have his electronic devices with internet access be subject to regular checks if necessary.
His parents, who were present in court on Wednesday, were placed on a $5,000 bond to ensure his good behaviour for the period of probation.
On 3 September last year, the teen went to an HDB block in the afternoon. He took a lift to the eighth floor, where he walked along the corridor in search of female clothing.
He noticed some laundry hanging outside a unit, including two primary school skirts, two pairs of PE shorts, a primary school top, and a PE T-shirt. The teen removed the laundry from a bamboo pole and walked up to the 10th floor via a staircase. Upon reaching the 10th floor staircase landing, the teen “touched, smelled and masturbated” with the laundry. He then put the items in a dry riser and left.
Later in the afternoon, a maid who hung out the laundry to dry noticed that the clothes were missing when she went to bring them in. She informed her employer, who lodged a report at the Jurong East Neighbourhood Police Centre.
Police viewed CCTV footage installed at the ground floor of the same block, and saw the teen loitering there.
After the teen was arrested on 2 October last year, he admitted to stealing the items worth about $62. He also confessed to stealing female clothing from the same unit on seven previous occasions.
On each occasion, the teen would remove the clothing and head to the 10th floor staircase landing to do the same sexual act with the clothing before leaving them in the same dry riser.
When police raided the dry riser, they found three primary school shirts, three PE shorts, two primary school T-shirts, a primary school top, and nine other pieces of clothing, including two bras and a pair of panties. Police officers also found 12 plastic hangers hidden in the dry riser.
The items were worth about $217.40.
The owner of the items identified all the items as hers, and also confirmed that she had noticed a few undergarments missing in September last year. She did not report the missing items to the police as she thought that her maid had misplaced them.
Despite his arrest, the teen went on to steal other primary school clothing from another unit in the same manner.
On 5 February, another female hung clothing along her corridor on a bamboo pole to dry at night. Half an hour later, the teen arrived at the block. He walked along the sixth floor corridor and noticed a bamboo pole with the clothing perched on a rack.
He stole a pair of underwear and two primary school PE T-shirts and walked up to the eighth floor where he then committed the same sexual act. He left the items in a dry riser on the eighth floor before leaving.
The owner of the items noticed her clothing was missing the next day, when she wanted to retrieve her washing. She lodged a report later in the day. Police officers viewed CCTV footage of her block’s ground floor, which captured the teen the previous day.
According one of the teen’s charge sheets, he returned to the same unit on 18 February to steal more items and was arrested again. The items worth $101 for this offence were not recovered.
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