Out of jail and back to housebreaking spree

Shortly after his release from prison for housebreaking, Mohamed Noor Hussain went back to his old ways. The 44-year-old unemployed man burgled eight condominiums in Bedok and Bukit Timah over a three-month period last year and stole property amounting to $27,550.

Yesterday, he was jailed for 4  1/2 years and ordered to be given eight strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to four of nine charges. The last charge was a housebreaking by day committed in 2013.

The court heard that he would target condominiums with either unsecured windows or doors that could be forced open.

He would enter the compound by following a resident through the side or rear gate or take a cab in to give the impression that he was a lawful visitor or resident.

Investigations showed he had broken into a condominium at Waterfront Key on Oct 1 last year and stolen branded bags and other items worth a total of $8,470.

Between Oct 13 and 22, he burgled a unit at Waterfront Waves condominium and got away with $700 worth of items.

The other two break-ins happened at Escada View in Lengkong Empat and Garden Vista along Dunearn Road.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Nim said Noor had proven to be a persistent and habitual offender, with theft-related convictions in 2008, theft in dwelling in 2012 and housebreaking in 2013.

He said Noor re-offended shortly after a 12-month sentence for housebreaking by breaking into eight units over a short period of three months.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan backdated Noor's sentence to Oct 31 last year.

Noor could have been jailed for up to 14 years and caned for repeat housebreaking and theft by night; and up to 10 years and caned for housebreaking.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline 'Out of jail and back to housebreaking spree'. Print Edition | Subscribe