A burglar broke into the same clinic along Killiney Road three times in a row between July and September last year to steal cough syrup, sedatives, painkillers, and any cash he could find. Nur Alif Abdul Talib, 25, would then sell the medicine on the black market in Geylang.
On Tuesday, the unemployed man was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to three counts of housebreaking and four counts of attempted theft.
At 4.20am on July 31 last year, Nur Alif scaled the wall facing the back alley of Killiney Road and climbed into the backyard of Doctor Jay Medical Centre. He then forced open the back door of the clinic and stole two canisters holding 3.8 litres of cough syrup, and an assortment of pills. He also pocketed $50 in cash and took a blue haversack.
Two days later, he was back and stole 3.8 litres of cough syrup and pills, valued at $50. When he broke in again at 3.30am on Sept 30, he found that the clinic had installed metal grilles in its backyard to prevent access to the back door of the clinic.
This time, Nur Alif was with an accomplice, known only as Iswan and they were able to get into the clinic by breaking into the research room and the female toilet.
They then stole cash of $119, a 3.8 litre canister and 16 bottles of cough syrup valued at $85.
In mid-August, he had tried to break into Tan Teoh Clinic & Surgery in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3. He tried again on Aug 18 but was foiled by the sturdy locks.
Then on Nov 2, he tried to steal a bag of clothes from a house in Cuff Road in Little India. He was caught when trying to break into Meenara Clinic, also in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, at 1.25am on Nov 25.
His lawyer, Mr John Abraham, said that his client has now realised that unless he turns his life around, "he would go down the same road as his drug addict father" who has spent decades in prison.
Iswan is still at large.