Man left house to steal women's underwear during circuit breaker

Photo from Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Circuit breaker measures and being placed on bail were not enough to deter a man from leaving his house with the intention to steal women’s bra and panties.

Barely a week after circuit breaker measures came into effect, Lee Chee Kin, who was charged previously for stealing female undergarments, left his home with the intention to steal more.

He trespassed into a residence by climbing over the unit’s back gate. However, court documents did not state whether he was successful.

Several of the victims whose undergarments were stolen by Lee later rejected the return of their items.

On Monday (18 May), Lee, 39, admitted to and was convicted on 10 charges, the bulk of which involved trespassing into residences and stealing lingerie. He also pleaded guilty to a charge each of dishonest misappropriation of property, and unauthorised use of a lost debit card.

Another 14 theft-related charges will be taken into consideration for his sentencing.

After the court hearing concluded, Lee asked to speak to his girlfriend, who was in court with his mother.

Lee began stealing bras and panties from 2018. When he felt an urge to steal, Lee would leave his house in search of female undergarments, which he targetted based on the appearance of the items.

After identifying his choice of lingerie, Lee would climb over the back gate of the unit being targeted and enter the laundry or backyard area where the underwear was hanging, and steal them. He would then leave the premises in the same manner.

Lee would use the stolen loot for his own sexual gratification.

In total, he trespassed into such locations on at least 30 occasions and stole at least one pair of bra straps, 34 bras and 42 panties.

Victims from 3 households do not want stolen items returned

On 8 July last year, at about 3.20am, Lee was captured climbing over a family’s house gate by the family’s CCTV. He was then seen exiting the residence in the same manner two minutes later.

Shortly after, a victim discovered a pair of beige colour bra straps belonging to her daughter that was hung out at the laundry area was missing. Before this incident, her husband had reported the loss of the victim’s bra, hung out overnight on 12 June last year.

Over these two occasions, Lee stole the bra straps and a Pierre Cardin bra worth a total of $60. While the bra was recovered from Lee’s house later on, the victim did not want the item to be returned to her. The straps were not recovered.

Between November 2018 and March last year, Lee trespassed into a residence belonging to another family, consisting of a couple and their maid. He climbed over the back gate and entered the house on four occasions, pocketing 10 bras and eight panties worth $159 from the backyard area.

Five of the bras and panties belonging to the wife and and the maid were recovered from Lee’s house, but the two women did not want the items back.

Over February and March last year, Lee had trespassed into another woman’s house, also by climbing over the unit’s back gate. Over four occasions, Lee stole 12 bras and 12 panties worth $1,000 from the backyard area. While four bras and eight panties were later recovered, the woman also did not want the items back.

Separately, Lee found a lost debit card at a ticketing machine at Ang Mo Kio MRT station on 23 May last year. He took the card and used it for 11 Paywave transactions for the next two days, spending $90.86. He then threw away the card. Lee has since made full restitution to the victim.

Lee was arrested on 12 July last year, at about 3.25am. A raid conducted at his house unearthed 106 bras and 41 panties.

Returned to same victims’ house during circuit breaker

After he was charged in court, Lee returned to the house where the couple and maid lived with the intention to commit the same offence, prompting the husband to call the police again.

On 15 April at around midnight, while the COVID-19 regulations were in force, Lee left his residence in search of bras and panties to steal.

The prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Kwang Jia Min, noted that Lee’s reason for leaving his house “does not fall under one or more of the activities prescribed under Regulation 4(3) of the COVID-19 Regulations”.

At about 2.14am, Lee climbed over the house’s back gate again. It is not known whether he managed to steal any undergarments this time. A charge of failing to wear a mask while outside his home was taken into consideration for Lee’s sentencing.

Calling for a mandatory treatment order suitability report for Lee, DPP Kwang noted that Lee’s psychiatric report, dated 22 July last year, stated he had a “fetishisitic sexual interest”.

Speaking through a Mandarin interpreter, Lee said, “I admit I entered the house through the back gate of the unit but I hope Your Honour gives me a chance to see a doctor for my condition and do something good for society and allow a social worker and a case manager to help me.”

Eng Keng Loon, Lee’s lawyer, told the court that Lee’s father had passed away around 25 June last year.

“In addition to that he’s had a father figure, an uncle, (who has) lived with him for large part of his life... recently undergo operation to heart. So these two issues affected my client and part of which could have led to him committing all these offences,” Eng said.

Lee will return to court on 1 June.

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