Student gets four months' jail for theft of four gold bars

A student was jailed for four months for stealing four gold bars.  -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
A student was jailed for four months for stealing four gold bars.  -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

After commiserating with one another about their lack of money following a clubbing session, three friends decided to steal some gold.

They hammered out a plan and executed it the next afternoon at a goldsmith shop in Yishun, making off with four gold bars worth $14,775.

The loot was sold off and the proceeds either spent on mobile phones or kept.

Yesterday, Sivasakthi Kumaran Nagarajan, 22, who had picked the shop along Yishun Central 1, was sentenced to four months in prison after pleading guilty to theft in dwelling on July 4 at around 2.15pm.

Full-time national serviceman Vairavan Venkatesh, 19, had allegedly posed as a customer and run off with the gold bars after pretending to inspect them.

Foreman Sastha Pillay, 29, allegedly found a buyer for the loot and distributed the proceeds.

The respective cases against both men are still pending.

The court heard that Sivasakthi Kumaran, a student, had bumped into the other two men on July 3.

Vairavan then pawned his phone for $420, so that they would have money to go clubbing together.

Vairavan allegedly came up with the plan to steal while smoking afterwards, and they were said to have headed to Sastha Pillay's home to refine the plan.

Sivasakthi Kumaran suggested targeting a shop in Yishun as he was familiar with the area and felt police would not respond quickly there.

The next afternoon, he waited at the corner of a nearby park with a change of clothes while Vairavan allegedly entered the jewellery shop and told the sales assistant his father owned a goldsmith shop back home in India.

Vairavan was said to have later run out of the shop with the gold bars.

The shop staff called the police and gave chase but lost sight of him.

Sivasakthi Kumaran and Vairavan allegedly met up and took a bus to Tekka Market in Little India, where they were said to meet Sastha Pillay.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong yesterday noted the high value of the items involved. She said the loot was not recovered, and no restitution had been made to the shop.

Pleading for leniency, Sivasakthi Kumaran said he came from a single-parent family and his mother had health problems.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.