A man robbed a woman at knifepoint in her car on Sunday afternoon in Geylang Bahru, in a crime rarely seen in Singapore.
The victim, a woman in her 30s, was parking her vehicle near a food centre packed with diners when the robber opened the car door and slipped into the front passenger seat, according to Chinese evening newspaper Shin Min Daily News.
After taking her valuables and cash, he forced her to drive to another open-air carpark where he bound her hands with tape before making his getaway.
The victim lost about $600 worth of cash and valuables, including an iPhone 5, added the paper.
Police said yesterday that they were alerted to the crime at about 4.40pm on Sunday.
The robber is believed to have struck when the woman was parking her car at the open-air carpark beside Block 70, which houses the Moulmein-Kallang Town Council.
The carpark borders the Geylang Bahru Market and Food Centre at Block 69.
The robber was brandishing a penknife, the victim's mother told Shin Min, adding that her daughter was alone and was going to do some errands at the neighbourhood shops.
After the victim handed over her valuables, the robber ordered her to drive to another open-air carpark at Block 57, about 150m away. He then fled.
Hawkers told The Straits Times that when the robber struck, the food centre was packed, "as per a normal weekend" and a lion dance performance was also taking place.
"Only when the police came to look for witnesses did we realise something had happened," said Mr Jason Tan, 32, who runs a porridge stall.
The crime jolted long-term residents at Block 57, who said it was a safe and quiet neighbourhood.
"Crimes like this are rare in Singapore and I believe it is a one-off case," said Mr Teo Chin Wah, 53, a driver who has lived in the block for more than 10 years.