Corrective training for thief in police stand-off

A drug abuser, who tried to get away from the police after stealing a Rolex watch, barged into a stranger's flat and threatened a woman with a knife.

Cleaning supervisor Mohamed Fazulla Mohamed Khan refused to surrender and wrongfully confined the 23-year-old woman in a bathroom of the Pasir Ris flat from around 3.30pm on March 21, 2016.

He finally released her about 1-1/2 hours later and surrendered at around 7.20pm that day.

Fazulla, 36, who has previous drug convictions, was sentenced yesterday to five years' corrective training (CT) and three strokes of the cane. CT is a penalty meted out to repeat offenders and they are not eligible for the usual remission.

Fazulla had pleaded guilty earlier this year to nine charges for offences including theft, criminal intimidation and drug consumption.

On March 16, 2016, he went to a watch shop in Thomson Road and spotted a $3,300 Rolex watch.

While a sales assistant was attending to another customer, Fazulla slipped the watch into his pocket and walked away without paying. The store owner later discovered the watch was missing and alerted the police.

 
 

Following an investigation, the police decided to ambush Fazulla at a Pasir Ris block five days later.

He was spotted at a staircase landing at around 3pm. He fled when he saw the police and barged into the woman's unlocked flat.

He took a knife from the kitchen and knocked on the bathroom door.

The woman opened it and was shocked to see Fazulla with the weapon. He stopped the woman from leaving the bathroom.

Police officers asked Fazulla to release the woman. He refused and said he would give himself up in two days' time. He released the woman at around 5pm but still did not want to surrender, telling officers that he would stab himself.

The woman was not injured, the court heard. He finally surrendered and was taken to Bedok Police Division.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2019, with the headline 'Corrective training for thief in police stand-off'. Print Edition | Subscribe