SINGAPORE - A man who snatched a woman's handbag and broke into a home to steal after losing money at a casino was jailed a total of three years on Thursday.
Norfadzli Abdullah, 26, who faced five charges, pleaded guilty to the two offences and drug possession.
A district court heard that Norfadzli had lost money gambling at the Resorts World Sentosa casino on July 5 last year.
He was walking at the void deck of a block in Boon Lay Drive when he saw Madam Lim Juat Eng carrying some groceries, with a handbag slung over her shoulder.
The 72-year-old woman took the lift to the fifth floor, and Norfadzli ran up the stairs to catch up with the lift. He followed her until she reached her unit.
When she was busy opening the gate, he grabbed her handbag and ran down the staircase. The stolen items amounted to $2,290, mostly in cash.
He took the cash and later threw the remaining items into a rubbish bin. He spent some of the cash on his family expenses and the rest on gambling, losing all the money again.
About three weeks later, he was returning to Boon Lay estate after another losing streak at the casino when he decided to break the law again.
Noticing that some windows on the 6th floor of a block were wide open, he took a lift up and leapt over the ledge from the lift lobby to a support parapet, before climbing into a bedroom, and stealing a $400 iPad and a $100 mobile phone.
Norfadzli was arrested on Aug 27 for throwing a purse on the floor. Police searched his bag and found Ziploc bags containing drugs.
He admitted that the drugs - not less than 3.72g of methamphetamine - were for his use.
The culprit, who had previous convictions for property offences, could have been jailed for up to 10 years for housebreaking and theft, and up to seven years and caned for using criminal force to steal. The maximum penalty for drug possession is 10 years behind bars and a $20,000 fine.