Mandatory treatment order for man who stole tortoise during circuit breaker


SINGAPORE — A man who broke into an acquaintance’s home to steal a tortoise during the circuit breaker period was given a two-year mandatory treatment order (MTO) on Monday (1 March).

Roger Khoo Zhen Xuan, 36, had been suffering from bipolar disorder with manic relapse when he broke into his former schoolmate's flat to steal the pet. The MTO means that Khoo will undergo psychiatric treatment in lieu of jail time.

On 23 May last year, Khoo left his flat in Yishun to travel to Sembawang during the partial lockdown period. He visited Huang Guo Sheng's home and saw that the latter was not home.

He claimed that Huang had promised to give him a tortoise. However, Huang had made no such promise.

Khoo then broke into Huang’s home and ransacked his bedroom. He stole Huang’s tortoise, worth $2.50. Before he left the house, he called a locksmith to repair the broken front door.

When Huang returned, he noticed the metal gate to his home was open and that the wooden latch on his door was broken. He saw that his bedroom was in a disarray and that his tortoise was missing.

Huang then checked his phone and saw that Khoo had posted a picture of himself and the stolen tortoise on social media, with Khoo claiming that he had a new pet.

Huang then called the police at 11.54pm. The tortoise was later returned to him.

Khoo had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal trespass, with one count of leaving his house for a non-essential purpose during the circuit breaker period taken into consideration for his sentencing.

For criminal trespass, Khoo could have been jailed up to three months, or fined up to $1,500, or both.

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