SINGAPORE - A jobless man who was on his way to a work interview decided to snatch a retiree's gold necklace instead, a court heard.
Muhammad Azmi Mustapa Kammal then went to pawn the jewellery and used the cash to redeem his mother's gold ring, which he had earlier pawned.
On Tuesday (Sept 27), Azmi, 28, was jailed for 13 months after he pleaded guilty to one charge of theft.
He admitted to another count of theft, which was taken into account in sentencing.
A community court heard that retiree Choo Chew, 69, was on her way home from marketing at about 10.30am on May 10. She placed her plastic bags of groceries on a table at the void deck of Block 272 Tampines Street 22.
Azmi, who wanted to take a taxi to a job interview, was at the void deck when he saw Madam Choo with a gold necklace around her neck.
He walked slowly towards her from behind, then grabbed and pulled the necklace until it broke.
Azmi then ran towards the road, where he flagged down a taxi and fled.
He directed the cabby to Bedok Central and pawned Madam Choo's necklace at the ValueMax pawnshop for $800. He collected $790, after $10 was deducted for repairing the broken necklace.
Azmi then went to another pawnshop to redeem his mother's gold ring, which he had earlier pawned with his mother's permission.
Back home, he gave the ring back to his mother and also passed $50 in cash each to his mother and brother. He kept the remaining $280 for himself.
Madam Choo made a police report on the theft of her necklace, which she had bought for $200 about 40 years ago, at around 4pm the same day.
Azmi was arrested by police at about 6.45pm that day.
On Feb 1, at about 1.45pm, Azmi also stole from another person at the void deck of Block 714 Tampines Street 71.
He snatched a Samsung Note 3 mobile phone worth about $500, an ez-link card with about $15 stored in it and $10 in cash from a 52-year-old woman who was carrying the items in her hand.
The punishment for using criminal force on a person, while stealing something that the person is wearing or carrying, is between one and seven years' jail. The offender is also liable to caning.