NTU professor pleads guilty to shoplifting

NTU professor Er Meng Joo pleaded guilty to shoplifting. Photos: NTU website, Yahoo Singapore

A professor from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on Thursday (20 April) pleaded guilty to two counts of shoplifting.

Electrical and electronic engineering professor Er Meng Joo, stole items including power banks, chargers, air fresheners and mouthwash from an NTUC FairPrice outlet at a Dunearn Road Esso service station in January 2016. His stolen items amounted to $225.15 in total, the State Courts heard.

Er had five other shoplifting charges that will be taken into consideration for his sentencing.

The 55-year-old was caught after the store manager, Lam Wing Kin, looked at the CCTV footage. Lam first saw Er behaving suspiciously on 27 Jan. Er had left the store at around 4pm without paying for some items.

Lam, 41, saw Er shoplifting again at around 9.40am on 29 Jan, stealing items such as a micro USB cable, two air fresheners and a power bank.

Lam traced Er’s name and the vehicle plate number of his car before lodging a police report on 30 Jan. Er confessed to the offences when police officers visited his home.

A psychiatric report was called by the court to assess Er’s suitability for a mandatory treatment order (MTO) in lieu of a jail term.

According to Er’s NTU academic profile, he was an elected member of NTU’s Advisory Board from 2009 to 2012 and served as a member of the NTU Senate Steering Committee from 2010 to 2012.

He also has a slew of awards listed under his profile, including the Outstanding Mentor Award in 2014, the Most Zealous Professor of the Year Award in 2009 and the Teacher of the Year Award for the School of electrical and electronic engineering in 1999.

Er, who will return to court on May 22, can be jailed up to three years and fined on each count of shoplifting.