Two Chinese nationals who travelled to Singapore to commit separate housebreakings and thefts were jailed on Monday.
Liu Qiangde, 32, a hawker who committed 15 cases including one in 2007 involving a total of $66,576, was jailed for 90 months. He pleaded guilty to six charges involving $49,412. Chen Yuncai, 33, was jailed for a total of 66 months after pleading guilty to four charges involving $49,380. The remaining four were taken into consideration.
A district court heard that Liu was arrested during a police ambush at about 3am on Oct 11 last year. Two weeks before that, police had received numerous reports of break-ins at private residential estates.
DNA samples obtained from Liu matched the samples obtained in relation to some of the incidents that occurred in 2007 and 2009. Investigations showed that both Liu and Chen, who knew each other, had travelled to Singapore with the intention to commit housebreaking.
Chen had noticed during a previous trip that the perimeter walls of landed properties here were lower compared to those in China, and presumably easier to break into. They brought along tools like screwdriver, a pair of pliers and gloves to commit the crimes.
Before committing the offences, they would separately scout around for suitable landed properties to break into. On at least one occasion, Liu met Chen before they went their separate ways to different locations to commit housebreaking.
In a few cases, Liu would meet Chen and give him some of the stolen items for safekeeping.
The houses burgled included some in Bishan, Lorong Chuan, Siglap, Upper East Coast and Bukit Timah.