22 months' jail for man who entered ex-girlfriend's flat using duplicated keys, stole cash and jewellery

SINGAPORE - A 27-year-old man used a set of keys he had duplicated to enter his former girlfriend's flat on various occasions, stealing cash and jewellery.

After the locks to the flat were changed, he deceived a locksmith into helping him access the unit.

Moreno Nino Jusner Jashua Taguibao, a Filipino, was sentenced to 22 months' jail on Tuesday (Aug 3). He pleaded guilty to one charge each relating to forgery and housebreaking.

Two other charges involving housebreaking were taken into consideration during sentencing by District Judge Janet Wang.

In 2018, Taguibao moved in with his then girlfriend and was given a set of keys to her flat in a Housing Board block.

Court documents said she was unaware that he duplicated the keys, but did not specify when he did so.

When the couple broke up in September 2019, Taguibao returned the original set of keys but kept the duplicate.

He later borrowed money from a licensed money lender and was unable to service his debt.

Taguibao then used the duplicated set of keys to enter his former girlfriend's unit on multiple occasions between Feb 3 last year and Jan 21 this year.

He stole from her $12,500 in cash, and jewellery worth more than $27,000 that he subsequently pawned. Court documents state that he was unemployed when he committed the offences.

On March 18 this year, Taguibao had a feeling that his former girlfriend may have changed the locks to her flat. He had intended to enter her unit again illegally that day.

He took a screenshot of a police report that had his address in it with his mobile phone and altered the address to that of the flat's using software.

Taguibao later showed the forged document to the locksmith after contacting him for help.

The locksmith dismantled the padlock securing the unit's metal gate, and picked the lock of the main door.

Taguibao was arrested after his former girlfriend called the police.

Taguibao has not made any restitution.

On Tuesday, the district judge allowed Taguibao's request to defer his jail term to Sept 6 so that he can settle his personal affairs.

For his forgery-related offence, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Taguibao could also have been jailed up to 20 years and fined for his housebreaking-related offence.

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