'Millionaire burglar' jailed

Notorious burglar Chew Kim Lin, who was dubbed "the most wanted criminal in Singapore and Malaya", was sentenced this week in 1965 to seven years in jail on each of the 25 charges of housebreaking. The sentences were concurrent.

He received another three years in jail for breaking into the home of philanthropist Lee Kong Chian, even though he did not take anything.

Dubbed the "millionaire burglar" because he targeted the wealthy, Chew, 24, stole $113,457 in cash and property from 26 homes between January and June 1965.

He broke in by scaling roofs or climbing drainpipes to enter via the balconies.

Chew, who was shot by a detective during his capture in Geylang two weeks earlier, was carried into court on a stretcher with his leg in a plaster cast.

The married father of two pleaded for leniency, but judge Donald Yeo said: "Your plea has no merit at all. It is a pity that you, with such daring and physical prowess, should turn to crime instead of working for the betterment of society. Your criminal activities amaze me. Your daring defeats the imagination."

After the sentence was passed, Chew was heard muttering: "Might as well give me a death sentence. And I have been so frank with the police."

Jennani Durai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 12, 2015, with the headline ''Millionaire burglar' jailed'. Print Edition | Subscribe