SINGAPORE - For days, two policemen in plain clothes staked out an overhead bridge in Anchorvale Road, waiting to catch a serial molester adept in covering his tracks.
On July 21 last year, they finally got their man - Aldrin Illias appeared nervous when questioned and was found to have two extra tops in his bag. The 39-year-old, who molested six girls in two weeks, also tried to hide his fingers.
"The accused really did his homework. He would change his clothes to avoid detection and even apply masking tape on his hands to avoid leaving DNA evidence," said Senior Investigation Officer Sri Ganesh Rajaram, 38, of the Ang Mo Kio Police Division. He and Sergeant Muhammad Adhwa Haziq, 25, of the Serangoon Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC), arrested Aldrin.
They were part of a team of four police officers lauded on Monday (June 18) for nabbing Aldrin, who targeted girls as young as 10.
The team was among the 100 teams and individuals honoured by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Hoong Wee Teck, for their outstanding leadership and service at the Commissioner of Police's Commendation Ceremony on Monday.
The team's two other members are Deputy Superintendent Low Jiing Haur, 42, chief investigation officer from the Ang Mo Kio Police Division, and Assistant Superintendent Iskandar Abdul Kadir, 35, of the Sengkang NPC.
The team, which won a Team Commendation Award, said teamwork played a big role and they had help from some 80 other police officers from various neighbourhood police posts.
Also commended on Monday was Sergeant Abdul Rahman Mohamed Ali, a recipient of one of the 11 High Commendation awards.
He was stationed at the Tampines East Police Post in December last year when a member of the public informed him that a maid was attempting suicide in a nearby block.
The 27-year-old had a tough decision on his hands as he was the only officer manning the police post at the time. "It would waste time if I called for back up so I closed the police post and rushed to the block," he said.
Sergeant Rahman rushed to the scene in time and managed to pull the maid back from the bamboo poles that she was standing on into the safety of the house.
"All that was going through my mind was that I have to save her life," he added.
During Monday's ceremony, nine members of the public were also commended for their acts of public-spiritedness. They included a senior security supervisor from Marina Bay Sands (MBS) who helped to recover the $2,000 that a customer at an MBS restaurant had lost.