SINGAPORE - A former part-time actor, who had been stealing women's undergarments from homes since 2018, continued doing so even during the circuit breaker and despite being out on bail for the same offence.
Lee Chee Kin, 39, trespassed into the backyard of a house on April 15, a week into the start of the circuit breaker to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, with the intention of adding to his tally.
The Singaporean had trespassed into the same property on five earlier occasions, between November 2018 and May last year, stealing nearly 30 pieces of undergarments worth at least $160 in total.
He was sentenced on Monday (June 8) to 23 weeks' jail after pleading guilty last month to 10 charges, including criminal trespass, theft and an offence under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.
Lee had been stealing lingerie for his own sexual gratification since 2018, trespassing into other properties to commit similar acts of crime.
The locations of all affected homes were redacted from court documents. In total, he admitted to entering different premises on at least 30 occasions.
Lee was earlier caught on July 12 last year.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kwang Jia Min had said: "He would select bras and panties to steal based on their appearance... he would climb over the back gate of the target unit and enter the (laundry or backyard areas) where bras and panties were hanging and steal them.
"He would then leave the premises the way he entered."
While out on bail following last year's arrest, Lee left his home in the wee hours of April 15 to return to one of his victims' houses.
An occupant alerted the police and officers later arrested him.
In an unrelated case, he took another man's debit card which he had found at Ang Mo Kio MRT station on May 23 last year.
Lee then used it to buy nearly $91 worth of items by using the Paywave function.
He has since made full restitution to the victim, who made a police report on May 28 last year.
On Monday, the DPP urged the court to sentence Lee to at least six months' jail, stressing that he had trespassed into multiple properties to steal women's undergarments.
Defence lawyer Roche Eng pleaded for between three and five months' jail.
He told the court that his client, who had appeared in productions shown on Tamil channel Vasantham, is "looking for judicial mercy" and is remorseful.
For each criminal trespass charge, Lee could have been jailed for up to three months and fined up to $500.
For each count of theft, an offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined.