Man gets five years' corrective training for theft from hotel guests

SINGAPORE - A man who stole almost $9,000 worth of electronic devices and mobile phones from hotel guests was sentenced to five years' corrective training on Wednesday.

Zainunin Bashrin, 41, who faced four charges, had admitted to stealing a laptop and a cellphone totalling $3,216 from Mr Amir Shoham; and an iPad and iPhone worth $1,237 from Ms Irina Kablukova in their rooms at The Elizabeth Hotel on April 12, 2013.

Then a housekeeper employed by a sub-contractor for the hotel, Zainunin was deployed to the Mount Elizabeth hotel to take out all the dirty linen and trash from the guest rooms before the chambermaids cleaned the room.

He was only to enter the rooms that had been vacated, and had been reminded many times that none of the guests' belongings should be tampered with.

The court heard he was walking along the 10th floor corridor that day when he used a hotel master key to enter the 41-year-old Mr Shoham's room. The American was not in when Zainunin stole his two items.

Earlier that day, he had also used the master key to enter Ms Kablukova's, room when the 51-year-old was out for a medical appointment. He stole her iPad and iPhone charger.

The electronic key access system and the hotel's CCTV camera system captured him entering the two rooms.

He later sold the two laptops and iPad to a second-hand dealer. He also sold Ms Kablukova's iPad but this was subsequently recovered by the police.

Two other charges involving about $4,100 worth of items were taken into consideration.

Zainunin has previous convictions for having housebreaking implements, drug-related offences and under the Films Act. He was last given seven years' corrective training -a prison regime for repeat offenders with no one-third remission for good behaviour - in 2004 for burglary and theft.

elena@sph.com.sg