Western Union armed robbery suspect taken to scene by police

Western Union armed robbery suspect taken back to scene by police.

SINGAPORE - The 58-year-old man charged with armed robbery of a Western Union branch was taken to the scene of the alleged crime at Ubi Avenue 1 on Monday (Aug 7) morning.

On Saturday,  Hashim Hamzah was charged with robbing the remittance outlet on Tuesday.  He is alleged to have used a knife to threaten the staff member before making off with $4,000.  He was wearing a white helmet, black jacket and dark-coloured trousers at the time of the alleged robbery, according to the police.

Returning to the scene in hand and leg restraints, the Singaporean kept his head bowed as he alighted from a police van at around 10am.

He was taken into the outlet by officers and led behind the staff counter in the branch, where he was questioned briefly.

Police then led him away from the scene and behind Block 301, where he is believed to have dropped some of the money he escaped with.

Officers then took him to a carpark nearby, where he is thought to have left his bicycle, before taking him to an eatery near the Western Union branch. This is believed to be where he observed staff at the outlet before the incident.

Hashim was arrested at Pasir Ris Drive 6 after a three-day manhunt last week, during  which the police trawled through 1,000 hours of closed-circuit-television footage from police cameras, in-car cameras, shophouses and eateries.

 
 
 

During his escape, he dropped some of the money near the carpark behind the branch, said the police at a press conference last week.

The money was recovered by the Western Union employee who had been alone in the outlet when the incident happened and followed him..

The suspect fled on a bicycle with just $1,071 in a plastic bag, said the police.  No one was hurt in the robbery. 

Preliminary investigations showed that the suspect had spent almost all the money.  Police recovered four 4D tickets, a pair of black shoes and a green face mask.  A red bicycle was found in Bedok.

The authorities are  searching for the knife and white helmet.

If convicted of armed robbery, Hashim may be jailed between two and 10 years, and get at least 12 strokes of the cane.

The Western Union case was the second armed robbery reported in two days last week.

Last Monday, a 48-year-old man was arrested four hours after robbing a petrol station at Upper Bukit Timah Road with a knife. He made off with over $1,100. The  suspect, Visvanathan Vadivelu, was charged two days later.