4 Colombians jailed a year each for housebreaking

Four Colombian nationals who came to Singapore to break into homes were jailed for 12 months each yesterday.

Yuli Caterine Puentes Entralgo, 27, her husband Alvaro Gonzalez Gonzalez, 32, Andres Ordonez Saenz, 41, and Edgar Alberto Sandoval Rivera, 45, pleaded guilty to breaking into the house of Mr Roland Jozef Janssen, 48, at Muswell Hill, Braddell Heights Estate, at about 7.50pm on May 6.

They arrived in Singapore on May 2 and planned to break into and steal items from houses.

The next day, Puentes rented a Mercedes-Benz car for them to travel around housing estates. They bought items, such as a crowbar, that could be used to break into the targeted units.

Investigations showed that some time after 7pm on May 6, Gonzalez drove the rented car to Muswell Hill where his wife, Ordonez and Sandoval alighted and proceeded to the house. Gonzalez waited in the car.

The victim and his family had left at about 4pm.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Marcus Foo said the three forced open the sliding door next to the main door of the house and ransacked the house but could not find any valuables. They fled when they saw a closed-circuit television camera.

Mr Janssen returned home at 10pm and found the sliding door had been forced open and his house ransacked. He made a police report.

The four were arrested at Tampines Central the next day before they could leave for Kuala Lumpur by bus.

One charge of housebreaking and theft of $2,000 in cash and other items, and another housebreaking charge were considered against each of them.

The prosecutor had sought at least 12 months' jail for each. He highlighted that they were foreigners who came here specifically to commit crime; there was significant planning and attempts taken to avoid suspicion.

They could have been jailed for up to three years and fined for housebreaking by night.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2017, with the headline '4 Colombians jailed a year each for housebreaking'. Print Edition | Subscribe