SINGAPORE: A day before circuit breaker measures shuttering shops kicked in, a man allegedly broke into a coffee shop, stole cash and set fire to a stack of tissue paper.
Mohamed Sarib Abdul Aziz, 52, was charged on Thursday (Apr 9) over these offences, as well as for breaking into a house and stealing a bicycle.
He is accused of stealing a bicycle from a bicycle bay at Block 38 Circuit Road at about 11.35pm on Apr 5.
Hours later, between 1am and 1.30am on Apr 6, he allegedly climbed over a fence at nearby 41 Jalan Melor in order to commit theft.
Minutes later, between 1.45am and 3am, he allegedly broke into the U1 Coffeeshop at Block 83 Macpherson Lane.
He entered by the back door and stole S$2,610 in cash, charge sheets state.
Sarib is also accused of committing mischief by fire by burning a stack of tissue paper at the coffee shop.
The police said in a statement that Sarib was identified and arrested two days after he allegedly broke into the coffee shop.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Julius Lim, commander of Bedok Police Division, said: “At a time when more businesses are shuttered due to the COVID-19 situation, break-ins like this are particularly egregious.”
The circuit breaker was announced on Apr 3 and is expected to last from Apr 7 to May 4. It restricts the movement of people here, encouraging all except workers in essential services to stay home, in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The police said in their statement that they have stepped up crime-fighting efforts during the circuit breaker period.
They advised the public to secure their premises and refrain from keeping large sums of cash at commercial premises.
Sarib will return to court on May 6, after the circuit breaker period ends.
If convicted of house-breaking to commit theft, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
For mischief by fire, he could be jailed for up to seven years and fined. He could be jailed for up to three years, fined, or both for theft.