Man threatens to blow up pawnshop after failed robbery attempt outside Boon Lay MRT station

The police are looking for the man, who is about 1.75m tall and was last seen wearing a pink turban, blue jacket and long brown pants.
The police are looking for the man, who is about 1.75m tall and was last seen wearing a pink turban, blue jacket and long brown pants.PHOTOS: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Police officers were directing people to stay away and MRT staff were preventing people from entering the station.
Police officers were directing people to stay away and MRT staff were preventing people from entering the station.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/HONG WEI

The police are looking for an armed robbery suspect who threatened to blow up a pawnshop in Boon Lay yesterday after staging a failed robbery attempt using a knife and a replica gun.

The police said that at about 4.30pm yesterday, a man entered the pawnshop located outside Boon Lay MRT station, allegedly threatening the staff with a knife and what appeared to be a fake gun.

When the staff refused his demands to hand over cash and jewellery, the man allegedly said he would blow up the shop with an object that he claimed was an explosive device, said the police in a Facebook post last night.

It added that the suspect then threw the object onto the counter and fled the pawnshop without taking any items.

The object was immediately thrown out of the pawnshop by the staff, who then called the police. No staff member was injured in the incident.

The incident caused an exit at the MRT station to be temporarily closed while police checked the suspicious object.

 

It was later established that the object contained some electrical components. The exit was reopened at about 6pm.

Releasing a video screenshot of the suspect, the police said that the man is about 1.75m tall and was last seen wearing a pink turban, blue jacket and long brown pants.

The police cordoned off an area between the MRT station and the nearby Jurong Point shopping mall at about 5pm.

Police officers directed people to stay away, and MRT staff stopped people from entering the station.

Police said earlier yesterday that train operations were not affected.

But a reader told The Sunday Times that the East-West Line train he was on skipped Boon Lay MRT station at around 5pm and went directly to Joo Koon station instead.

Police are investigating and the case has been classified under Section 4(A) of the Arms Offences Act. If convicted of committing an offence under this Act, a person can be sentenced to death.

The Act includes those who try to use any arm in committing or attempting to commit the offence, regardless of whether there was intention to cause physical injury to any person or property.

Anyone with information is requested to call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

All information will be kept strictly confidential, said the police.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 29, 2018, with the headline 'Man threatens to blow up pawnshop after failed robbery'. Print Edition | Subscribe