Recalcitrant underwear thief who stole bras jailed one-and-a-half years

Photo from Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A serial underwear thief who took a green bra on a drying rack at a corridor was given one-and-a-half year’s jail on Thursday (5 March).

Among the loot found on Yeow Mun Seng on 6 January this year were three pairs of bra, eleven pairs of panties, thirteen pieces of clothes and 35 pieces of female garments. 

The 57-year-old’s property-related offences date back to 1981 and he had repeatedly stolen female undergarments over the years, the court heard on Thursday. He had been sentenced to 16 months’ jail in 2018, also for stealing undergarments, and was released early on a remission order when he reoffended. As such, Yeow will have to serve an additional 65 days for breaching his remission order.

On Thursday, Yeow admitted to two counts of theft. Other charges, including possessing suspected stole property - the female underwear and garments - were taken into consideration for his sentencing. 

On 6 January, between 3.30am and 3.55pm, Yeow was walking along the common corridor at a flat along Woodlands Avenue 1 in search of something to steal. When he was at the common corridor, he saw a woman’s green bra and wanted to steal it.  

He looked around to ensure no one was around, before taking the bra, sniffing it and leaving with the bra. The bra belonged to a female student. Her mother had washed the girl’s clothes and hung them out to dry at the corridor on 5 July. When the daughter went to look for her bra, valued at $30, at about 2pm, she found it missing. 

Yeow later threw the bra away at the central rubbish chute at the first floor of the block. The bra was not recovered.

On 27 December last year, Yeow also stole a red cloth banner from outside another unit along Woodlands Street 13. The owner was alerted through his doorbell camera by Yeow’s presence, and he spotted Yeow stealing the $160 banner. 

Yeow took the banner and sniffed it before leaving the corridor with it. 

On 7 January, Yeow was arrested and found with the female clothing and underwear. He was unable to provide any satisfactory explanation as to how he got hold of the items.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua sought at least 20 months’ jail for Yeow and for the full remaining days of Yeow’s remission to be imposed on him. She said that the offences committed were identical to what he was originally sentenced for under the remission order. 

Yeow, who was not represented, pleaded for leniency and asked for a lighter sentence. 

District Judge Samuel Chua rejected the plea, stating that Yeow needed to recognise that his sentence will be higher if he were to return to court.

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