Orchard Road serial pickpocket and women involved in loanshark activities nabbed

A serial pickpocket, believed to be responsible for several cases of theft along Orchard Road, has been nabbed by the police.
A serial pickpocket, believed to be responsible for several cases of theft along Orchard Road, has been nabbed by the police.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A serial pickpocket, believed to be responsible for several cases of theft along Orchard Road, has been nabbed by the police.

The 28-year-old man was arrested on Sunday, after a woman made a police report that her handphone and other personal items were taken from her backpack. She said the suspect had bumped into her and walked away hurriedly.

Policemen from the Tanglin Division, who were on patrol subsequently located the suspect less than three hours after the report was made, and detained him.

The suspect is expected to be charged in court on Tuesday, police said. If found guilty, he can be jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.

In a separate case, two women, aged 23 and 21, were arrested for their alleged involvement in loanshark harassment.

Police said the pair were seen loitering outside a residential unit along Clementi Avenue 2 on Sunday afternoon.

One woman was arrested on the spot, while the other was caught at Toa Payoh Lorong 1 about six hours later. The women are believed to be former debtors.

Both suspects are believed to be involved in several cases of loanshark harassment island-wide by locking debtors' units using bicycle locks, splashing paint and scrawling loanshark-related graffiti on the walls, the police said.

Both women are expected to be charged in court on Tuesday under the Moneylenders Act.

First-time offenders found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of harassment can be jailed up to five years, and fined between $5,000 and $50,000. They can also receive between three and six strokes of the cane.