Three members of an Indonesian gang were jailed yesterday for their part in a series of robbery cases here. The New Paper reports on their strange tools of trade.|
The tools of their trade
- Screwdriver: Used for breaking into houses - and then to threaten victims to part with their money.
- Scissors: Ditto
- Tablecloth: To cover their own faces so that victims wouldn't identify them
- Wire hanger: To bind the hands of their victims so that they wouldn't be able to resist - or call the police
- Paper-cutter: To threaten victims
- Night-gown: Used in one case to cover the victims' faces
THE robbers had simple tools from a shopping trip and improvised with things you could get from a karang-guni man.
Barely an hour after they got here from the Indonesian island of Batam in July, the three men went shopping at Bugis Square.
No touristy stuff for them. They bought a paper-cutter, two screwdrivers and a torchlight.
They had come all the way from Indonesia for a quick strike with simple tools.
The skill had been perfected by one of the gang members, Mohamad Nur, 27, during earlier break-ins around Bukit Timah.
In this case, too, the three men took the MRT to approach their target.
They got off at the Yio Chu Kang station and walked to Florissa Park, where they intended to strike. They hid in a forested area for eight hours, and at 2 am on July 31, they moved in for the kill.
Out came the tools of their trade -- torchlight flashing and paper-cutter ready as they broke into the two-storey house.
Once inside, they found other weapons.
They picked up tablecloths. These were used to cover their faces.
They scooped up wire hangers. With these, they secured their victims' hands.
The screwdrivers, scissors and paper-cutters also doubled as weapons to threaten their victims.
To prevent the victims from looking on as their homes were ransacked, blankets and towels were thrown over their heads.
In fact, during a robbery at Faber Park, in the Bukit Timah area on March 17, Mohamad Nur used one of the victim's nightgowns to cover the victim's face.
In Florissa Park, the three then took 15 minutes to ransack the room.
But the victims managed to free themselves soon after the gang left.
After daybreak, as the gang started to split the loot, the police closed in. Stolen property worth more than $70,000 was recovered from them -- along with their tools.
The men had intended to take the MRT again, before catching the ferry to Indonesia.
Yesterday, the three men -- Hendra, 25, Muhammad Soleh Ahmad Poro, 31, and Mohamad Nur pleaded guilty to robbery.
In passing sentence, District Judge F G Remedios said: "The manner in which you committed the offence was very daring. You caused alarm to your victims."
- Hendra and Muhammad Soleh were sentenced to six years' jail and given 12 strokes each.
For robbery, the gang members could have been jailed between two years and 10 years.
- Mohamad Nur, who was involved in at least two other robberies in the Bukit Timah area, was sentenced to 12 years' jail and given 24 strokes.
Two other counts of housebreaking by night which can attract up to three years' jail were taken into account.