SINGAPORE - An unemployed man who broke into condominiums in Bedok and Bukit Timah shortly after his release from prison last year was sentenced to 4 1/2 years' jail and eight strokes of the cane on Tuesday .
Mohamed Noor Hussain, 44, who faced nine charges, had admitted to one count of housebreaking and theft by night and three counts of housebreaking at condominiums along Bedok Reservoir Road, Lengkong Empat and Dunearn Road. He made off with $19,520 worth of property between August and October last year.
Five other counts of housebreaking were considered during his sentencing.
A district court heard that he would target condominiums and observe units with windows left unsecured or with doors that were easy to be forced open.
He would enter the condominium compound by following a resident through the side or rear gate or hire taxis to give the impression that he was a lawful visitor or resident.
Once he identified a suitable unit to break into, he would either knock on the door or would say he reached the wrong unit should the occupant respond.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Nim said on October 1 last year, Noor got into the compound of Waterfront Key condominium through a side gate.
He forced open the first-floor unit's kitchen window and climbed in. He stole several branded handbags, two wallets, a cap and a cellphone totalling $8,470. Heleft through the sliding door of the balcony .
Noor also burgled a unit at Waterfront Waves condominium along the same road last October 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 in October and August last year respectively.
Mr Nim said Noor had shown to be a persistent and habitual offender. He had theft-related convictions in 2008, theft in dwelling in 2012 and housebreaking in 2013.
Noor, he added, re-offended shortly after his release from prison and committed eight counts of break-ins within a short period of three months.
District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan backdated Noor's sentence to Oct 31 last year.