SINGAPORE - His wedding was approaching, but IT trainer Saw Yan Naing felt he needed more money - quickly.
He decided to break into designer goods store HoBZ House of Brandz on the second storey of The Arcade shopping centre in Collyer Quay at around 2.15am on Dec 30 last year to steal four Hermes bags and a Rolex watch worth $82,800 in all.
The court heard that each bag was worth between $7,700 and $29,000. The watch cost $7,500.
Saw, 30, plotted the burglary a day before he carried it out and had planned to sell his loot to earn money so that he could marry his girlfriend who was living in China.
He pleaded guilty to housebreaking and was jailed for two years and three months on Thursday (Sept 28).
He had chosen The Arcade as he worked nearby and was familiar with the building's layout. Saw was also aware that part of the shopping centre was under construction at that time and would be less securely locked.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Shana Poon said: "Before going to The Arcade, the accused disguised himself in order to avoid detection.
"He wore a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of long pants, a wig, a fake moustache and a cap. On his way to The Arcade, he also wore a surgical mask and a pair of gloves."
He entered The Arcade at around 11.10pm on Dec 29, last year via one of the entrances that was undergoing construction work and was out of bounds to the public.
About three hours later, he climbed a ladder, forced open the false ceiling of the corridor outside HoBZ House of Brandz, crawled into the hole overhead and entered the store.
Saw then disabled the store's security alarm by unplugging its power source and turned off the CCTV. He searched the unit and fled with the valuables through the hole in the ceiling.
He flew to China with his loot about five hours later. The court heard he sold some of them off at a shop there and gave the rest of the stolen items to his girlfriend.
Singapore police managed to establish his identity and officers arrested him at Changi Airport Terminal 1 when he returned to Singapore at around 1.20am on Jan 12.
The court heard that he has since made a full restitution.
Saw's lawyer, Mr T. M. Sinnadurai, said his client regrets his actions.
He added: "The accused understands the seriousness of the offence and is not making any excuses for what he had done."
For housebreaking, Saw could have been jailed for between two and 14 years.