Former construction worker charged over Boon Lay pawnshop robbery attempt

Bangladeshi Sheikh Md Razan, 29, was arrested in Kampong Glam's Muscat Street on Aug 1, 2018.
Bangladeshi Sheikh Md Razan, 29, was arrested in Kampong Glam's Muscat Street on Aug 1, 2018. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - A former construction worker was taken to court on Friday (Aug 3) for his alleged involvement in a robbery attempt at a pawnshop outside Boon Lay MRT station last weekend.

Bangladeshi Sheikh Md Razan, 29, was charged with one count each of attempted armed robbery and being armed with a black “gun-like object” to commit the offence.

According to court documents, he allegedly wielded the black object and a cleaver with a 21cm blade in the robbery attempt at the ValueMax pawnshop at 4.33pm on July 28.

Razan, who appeared in court via video link from the Central Police Division, told District Judge Christopher Goh that he was drunk that day.

Speaking through an interpreter on Friday, he added: “I didn’t show a knife or gun. I only showed them a ‘bomb’.”

The Bangladeshi was arrested in Muscat Street in Kampong Glam on Wednesday after a five-day manhunt.

The robbery attempt took place on July 28 when a man barged into the ValueMax pawnshop, armed with a knife and a replica of a gun, which turned out to be made of plastic.

When the pawnshop workers refused to hand over their valuables, he allegedly threatened to blow up the shop with an explosive device.

The man is then said to have flung an object onto a counter before fleeing empty-handed.

Pawnshop staff immediately tossed the object out of the shop and called the police.

No one was injured in the incident and the object was found to contain electrical components.

 
 

The robbery attempt led to the temporary closure of one of the exits at Boon Lay MRT station. Trains also bypassed the station.

The Straits Times had earlier reported that the man then fled to a block of flats in Jurong West.

There, he got rid of his clothes and turban, which had been used as part of his disguise.

An eagle-eyed resident at the block later noticed a backpack hidden behind several potted plants and the police were alerted.

Officers later managed to identify the man from police cameras at the block.

Earlier reports stated that the five-day manhunt involved officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police Intelligence Department, Special Operations Command and the six Police Land Divisions.

Deputy Commissioner of Police for investigation and intelligence Florence Chua, who is also the CID director, said in a statement: "The man went to great lengths to conceal his identity and cover his tracks to evade detection and arrest.

"(Thus), this case required meticulous police work and the combined and coordinated efforts of officers from various Singapore Police Force units, working tirelessly round the clock to pursue all available leads to successfully arrest the man."

She also thanked the resident for alerting police about the bag, which provided officers with a lead to the man's identity.

Razan is now remanded at Central Police Division and will be back in court on Aug 10.