6 Australian schoolgirls nabbed for shoplifting in Orchard given warnings: Police

The girls were suspected of stealing lingerie from a Victoria’s Secret store, as well as a pair of Crocs footwear. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE – Three Australian schoolgirls arrested for shoplifting in Orchard Road have been let off with 12-month conditional warnings.

Three others received stern warnings, the police said on Wednesday in response to queries from The Straits Times, adding that the warnings were handed out in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“This took into account, among other factors, their ages and the extent of their individual involvement,” said the police, who were alerted to the case of theft at 333A Orchard Road at about 4pm on Nov 13.

Australian media reports said the girls – who were here for a netball competition – were suspected of stealing lingerie from a Victoria’s Secret store and a pair of Crocs footwear. 

They identified the girls as Year 10 students from Bacchus Marsh Grammar, a private school about 60km north of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria.

Following investigations by the police, the six girls – aged 14 to 16 – were found in possession of stolen items. 

A stern warning may be issued in place of prosecution after a criminal investigation is concluded.

A conditional stern warning, on the other hand, allows the authorities to prosecute the accused for the original crime if conditions in the warning are breached within a specified time period. In this case, it is 12 months.

On Tuesday, Australian media reports, quoting the school’s principal Andrew Neal, said the matter had been resolved and all the girls had returned home after leaving Singapore last Saturday.

“Everyone is here and they all came in on the same flight… All matters have been resolved and the girls were allowed to proceed to the airport with no further action,” Mr Neal said.

He had said earlier that 18 students had come to Singapore to compete in a regional netball competition.

He also said the school appreciated the Singapore police for their professionalism, saying in a statement that they have been firm, fair and thorough.

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