Snatch thief who bit victim gets jail

A jewellery shop sales assistant snatched a woman's purse and bit her forearm when she resisted his attempt to steal from her, a court heard.

Siaw Wei Sheng, 53, was sentenced to 15 months' jail yesterday after admitting to using criminal force to steal a black purse, $70, a POSB ATM card, some miscellaneous cards and a doctor's prescription from Madam Kannammah Krishnan, 45.

He was originally accused of robbery with hurt.

The theft took place at a staircase leading to the basement carpark at Tekka Market in Buffalo Road at about 6.45pm last Sept 29.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ee Kuan said that Siaw, then working for a jewellery store in Tekka Market, was near the staircase when he saw Madam Kannammah carrying a black purse in her left hand, and decided to steal it.

He followed her and tried to pull the purse out of her hand as she was walking down the staircase.

When she resisted, he bit her on the left forearm and managed to snatch the purse from her. He then fled.

He removed $70 in cash from the purse, which he threw away with its other contents.

He spent some of the cash on groceries at a FairPrice supermarket before returning home.

His face was captured on CCTV and he was arrested at his home later that evening.

A yellow T-shirt, blue jeans, a dark blue cap and a pair of black spectacles which he had worn were seized.

Siaw could have been jailed for up to seven years and caned for using criminal force to commit theft.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2016, with the headline 'Snatch thief who bit victim gets jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe