Model jailed for snatch theft and criminal intimidation

SINGAPORE - A Kazakhstan national here on a social visit pass was jailed for 15 months on Wednesday for snatch theft and criminal intimidation.

Varichenko Kirill, 22, a model, admitted to using criminal force to steal a $100 wallet containing a driving licence, a Visa credit card, an ez-Link card and $10 from manicurist Yuka Maeda, 27, along Claymore Hill on Oct 7 last year.

He also admitted to threatening her by lifting up his shirt to show part of a toy gun and saying he would kill her if she did not give him her money.

The court heard that Ms Maeda was walking along Claymore Hill at about 2.50am that day after work when Varichenko approached her and asked for a cigarette.

After giving him a stick, Varichenko lifted up his shirt to reveal part of his toy gun.

He told her: "I have a gun, I will kill you or you give me your money''.

Shocked and alarmed, Ms Maeda took out her Michael Kors wallet. He grabbed the wallet, opened it and ran towards Pacific Plaza. He heard the victim screaming: "I need my wallet, my cards and all'', but he took a taxi back to his hotel.

Two days later, police spotted Varichenko along Paterson Road, and he fitted the description provided by the victim. The patrol officers found a toy pistol tucked between his pants and shirt.

Investigation showed that he had bought the toy pistol from Toys R Us for $13 in Paragon shopping centre on Oct 6, a day after his arrival.

Kirill confessed to grabbing the victim's wallet. He claimed that he had taken some cards from the wallet and thrown it away. He later threw the credit card into the bushes at Istana Park.

An Institute of Mental Health report stated that he did not have major mental illness and was not of unsound mind at the time.

For snatch theft, he could have been jailed for up to seven years and caned. He could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for criminal intimidation.

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