Fear of losing their jobs spread among foreign workers at a work site after an excavator was found burned last August, followed by two more failed attempts a month later.
With no culprits found, the workers were worried that the management would think it was an inside job.
So after their daytime construction work, the workers took turns to perform overnight guard duty over the excavators at the work site in Media Link over a two-month period in hope of catching the perpetrator.
On Nov 18, they succeeded when a man carrying a large haversack was spotted trespassing on the site and approaching the excavators. He ran when six foreign workers gave chase but was quickly caught by them, as well as police officers who had arrived on the scene.
For their efforts in the arrest of the intruder, the six workers - along with their Singaporean safety officer Yeo Kok Kien who had suggested the overnight guard duty - received the Public-Spiritedness Award yesterday from the Singapore Police Force at the Clementi Police Division Headquarters.
One of them, Mr Hosen Mohammad, 27, from Bangladesh, said: "We are all very proud to receive this award. Now we can sleep in peace as our names are clear from suspicion."
Three other individuals were also presented the award yesterday for their roles in assisting the police in three separate cases, including Egyptian national Abobakr Elhakem, 38, who helped stop a violent robbery.
At about 9.30pm on Jan 27, Mr Elhakem was crossing Toh Tuck Road in Bukit Timah when he noticed a man being attacked by an unknown assailant. The attacker was allegedly attempting to rob the victim of his mobile phone.
Mr Elhakem tried to stop the attack but was assaulted by the assailant. He eventually restrained the man as the victim called the police. Within five minutes, the police arrived on the scene.
Asked why he had intervened, Mr Elhakem said everyone should "do more than just be a bystander and take videos" in such situations.
"If I ever find myself in such a situation, I would want someone to help me," he added.
All 10 recipients were lauded for their efforts by Assistant Commissioner of Police Jarrod Pereira, commander of Clementi Police Division. "These outstanding individuals did not turn a blind eye to wrongdoings occurring right before them, but instead stepped in to make a difference. They have demonstrated commendable acts of valour and public-spiritedness and we want to recognise them," he said.