Western Union robbery

Suspect taken back to scene of crime

Western Union armed robbery suspect taken back to scene by police.
A police officer with Hashim Hamzah at the scene of the crime near the Western Union branch in Ubi Avenue 1 yesterday.
A police officer with Hashim Hamzah at the scene of the crime near the Western Union branch in Ubi Avenue 1 yesterday.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Police get him to retrace steps before and after armed robbery in Ubi Avenue 1

Hashim Hamzah, the 58-year-old man charged with armed robbery at a Western Union branch, was yesterday taken back to the scene of last Tuesday's incident in Ubi Avenue 1.

Dressed in a white polo T-shirt and dark bermudas, and with restraints around his wrists and ankles, Hashim kept his head bowed as he alighted from a police van around 10am. He was taken into the Western Union outlet by officers and led behind the staff counter in the branch, where he was questioned briefly.

Police then led him away from the scene and to an area near the carpark behind Block 301, where he is believed to have dropped some of the money.

Officers also took him through neighbouring blocks to a nearby carpark, where he is thought to have left his bicycle, before taking him to an eatery near the Western Union branch.

This is believed to be where he had been observing staff from the outlet before the incident.

Hashim is accused of robbing the outlet while armed with a knife.

 
 
 

He allegedly ordered the staff member not to shout and demanded money. He is said to have taken $4,000 in cash from the remittance outlet.

The money that was dropped near the carpark was later recovered by Ms Hankum Porntip, 28, the Western Union employee who was alone in the outlet when the incident happened.

Hashim allegedly fled on a bicycle with just $1,071 in a plastic bag, said the police at a press conference last week.

He was arrested last week in Pasir Ris Drive 6 after a three-day manhunt, during which the police trawled through more than 1,000 hours of closed-circuit television footage from police cameras, in-car cameras, shophouses and eateries.

The suspect was found wearing the dark blue trousers he had allegedly committed the crime in. Police also recovered four 4-D tickets, a pair of black shoes and a green face mask.

Hashim subsequently led the police to a red bicycle in Bedok .

Preliminary investigations showed that the suspect had spent almost all the money, some of it on 4-D tickets.

The authorities are still trying to locate the knife and a white helmet that the suspect wore during the robbery. If convicted of armed robbery, Hashim could be jailed for up to 10 years.

The Western Union case was the second of two armed robberies reported over consecutive days last week.

On Monday last week, a 48-year-old suspect was arrested four hours after an armed robbery at a petrol station in Upper Bukit Timah Road. The robber, armed with a knife, made off with over $1,100. Visvanathan Vadivelu was charged two days later.

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Police take suspect back to scene of crime

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2017, with the headline 'Suspect taken back to scene of crime'. Print Edition | Subscribe