Condo manager steals $100k in cash, items from residents' homes

He used an access card he created to enter units; 3 Hermes bags worth $86k among items stolen

Using an access card he created for units at the Scotts Square condominium, a building manager entered residents' homes and stole $28,000 in cash and three Hermes handbags totalling about $86,000.

Teh Jiahe, now 37, pleaded guilty yesterday to three counts of theft in three homes.

Two other counts linked to two apartments will be considered during sentencing. The Singaporean stole a pair of shoes worth $2,000 and two books from these two units. The offences were committed last year.

The 43-storey development in Scotts Road has 338 units. The smaller one-bedroom units are being offered for sale on the resale market in excess of $2 million, while the three-bedroom units are on the market for nearly $5 million.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang said that Teh's job scope included managing the property's facilities and dealing with residents' complaints.

The Singaporean also had use of a computer system that coded access cards which allowed entry into residents' homes.

The court heard that Teh had to create such an access card three years before the offences when he forgot to take the one issued to him for work.

Court documents did not state if the card which was originally issued to Teh allowed him access to all the residents' homes.

Teh was on duty in March last year when he entered a private lift that led directly to one of the apartments. Once he was inside, he stole a Hermes handbag worth $10,900.

In May last year, he entered another apartment and discovered several envelopes in a cabinet. He took two of them, which contained $28,000 in total.

Teh later deposited the sum into his bank account.

He used the access card and entered a third apartment the following month. This time, he stole two Hermes bags, a ring and a watch worth $87,000 in total.

Police started their investigation into the case on Sept 8 last year and Teh was arrested soon after. One of the Hermes bags was recovered from his home.

District Judge Kessler Soh called for a report to assess Teh's suitability for a mandatory treatment order (MTO) after being told he had major depressive disorder.

Offenders given an MTO will undergo treatment for their mental conditions in lieu of jail time.

Teh is expected to be sentenced on Nov 9.

For each count of theft, an offender can be jailed for up to seven years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2021, with the headline 'Condo manager steals $100k in cash, items from residents' homes'. Subscribe