Thinking that a black trash bag and umbrella would be enough to hide his identity, he broke into his workplace – the well-known Victory Restaurant – to steal $10,000 from its till.
However, Rashid Koned’s identity was still traced by the police thanks to CCTV cameras in the vicinity of the restaurant.
On Monday (22 January), the 64-year old was sentenced to 18 months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to one count of breaking into the well-known prata shop at North Bridge Road, by scaling its wall and climbing through a second-floor window in order to steal the money.
The court heard that Rashid committed the offences on 8 October last year as he was in desperate need of money to pay off his debts. He decided to break into the restaurant as he knew that the money was kept at the cashier’s counter.
At around 1.10am, Rashid went to the back lane of the restaurant where he put on a black trash bag and opened up an umbrella. He used the umbrella to push a CCTV camera at the rear entrance of the restaurant upward to avoid his actions being captured on video.
He then cut off the electrical supply to the restaurant by switching off the main electrical switch before climbing to the restaurant’s second floor. With a metal wire, Rashid unlatched the window and went to the restaurant’s kitchen to retrieve a knife.
He used the knife to pry open the cashier’s counter and stole $10,000 from its drawers. He then left the restaurant and later transferred half of his loot to his creditors at an ATM.
Rashid subsequently fled to Batam, Indonesia, where his wife and three children reside. He spent the rest of the money there on his personal expenses. He remained in Batam for about a month and was arrested when he tried to enter Singapore on 10 November last year.
In mitigation, Rashid said that he was suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes. Asking for the “lightest punishment”, Rashid said that he was the sole breadwinner of his family.
District Judge Jasvender Kaur noted that Rashid’s culpability was high as he had used knowledge of the premises that he had gained while working there.
Rashid could have been jailed up to 10 years for housebreaking in order to commit theft.
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