Singaporean jailed for stealing branded items to give to girlfriend in China

An IT trainer staged an elaborate burglary to steal luxury items for a girl in China he was in love with and then fled the country.

But Saw Yan Naing, 30, was arrested at Changi Airport when he returned home about two weeks later.

Saw, who left for China just hours after stealing four Hermes bags and a Rolex watch worth a total of $82,800, was yesterday jailed for two years and three months. Each bag was worth between $7,700 and $29,000, while the watch cost $7,500.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to breaking into HoBZ House of Brandz on the second storey of The Arcade shopping centre in Collyer Quay at around 2.15am on Dec 30 last year.

Saw worked near The Arcade and was familiar with its layout. He knew that part of the building was under renovation and less secure.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shana Poon said: "Before going to The Arcade, the accused disguised himself in order to avoid detection. He wore a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of long pants, a wig, a fake moustache and a cap... he also wore a surgical mask and a pair of gloves."

He entered the mall at around 11.10pm on Dec 29 last year via an entrance that was undergoing construction work. The area was out of bounds to the public.

After a three-hour wait, he climbed a ladder, opened the false ceiling outside HoBZ House of Brandz, and crawled into the hole overhead before entering the store.

Saw then disabled the store's security alarm and turned off closed-circuit television cameras.

He fled with the valuables through the hole in the ceiling and flew to China with his loot about five hours later.

Saw sold some of the items there and gave the rest to his girlfriend.