Three commended for foiling Marsiling snatch theft
One man pursues suspect, the second kicks his bike down, and the third pins him to the ground
They had never crossed paths before, but all three strangers together helped foil a snatch theft.
One saw and chased the suspect who had snatched a gold necklace, the other kicked the suspect's Honda Wave motorbike down, while the third pinned the suspect to the ground after he fell from his motorbike.
For what they did on Monday at about 3pm, the three members of the public - Mr Teoh Kwan Yi Gabriel, 40, Mr Muhammad Firdauz Mansor, 27, and Mr Norazam Sumadi, 39 - were presented with the Public Spiritedness Award in a ceremony held at Jurong Police Division yesterday.
On Monday, Mr Teoh, a graphic designer, had just parked his car at the carpark near Block 215, Marsiling Lane, when he heard shrilling shouts from Block 216.
Mr Teoh said: "The scream sounded like a little girl. I am a father of two daughters myself so my (paternal) instinct hit me. I thought, 'Why is this child screaming?'"
He saw a man in a ski mask struggling with a woman, who was sitting on a stool in front of a provision shop at Block 216. The man wore slippers a grey outfit resembling a work suit.
"I kept shouting 'Stop!', and when the man ran to the stairs (down a grassy slope) at the right, that was when I knew this was a robbery," said Mr Teoh.
The provision shop owner, who declined to be named, told The New Paper that the 30-year-old victim has worked at his shop for the past month and was packing chilli alone outside the shop at about 3pm.
That was when the suspect accosted her from behind and snatched her necklace.
He then ran towards his motorbike, which was parked at the bottom of the stairs, about 80m from the shop.
Mr Teoh sprinted in the suspect's direction, and he was accompanied by two other passers-by, Mr Firdauz and Mr Norazam.
COURAGEOUS: (Above, from left to right) Mr Teoh Kwan Yi Gabriel, Mr Norazam Sumadi and Mr Muhammad Firdauz Mansor with their Public Spiritedness Awards for their efforts in nabbing the thief who had stolen a gold necklace from a woman working in a provision shop. TNP PHOTO: CHOO CHWEE HUA
Mr Norazam, a tipper truck driver who lives in Block 216, descended the stairs and kicked the suspect's bike, knocking it over.
He told TNP: "He took down his ski mask, put on his helmet, and sat atop his motorbike. I knocked down his motorbike before he could turn on the engine."
The suspect toppled along with his bike.
But he wriggled his way out and tried to escape once more.
That was when Mr Firdauz, a resident at Block 215 and process technician in an oil and gas company, dashed across the steep grass patch and pinned the suspect down.
"I felt a little scared when going down the steep grass patch because I could roll down easily," said Mr Firdauz.
"But after I reached down the slope, I made sure to see if he was carrying any weapon in his hands before pinning him down,"
The gold necklace thieves had tried to steal. TNP PHOTO: CHOO CHWEE HUA
The commander of Jurong Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Koh Wei Keong, commended the three for their courage and civic-minded actions, which resulted in the arrest.
"For us, we want to recognise these acts quickly, and we are humbled that these members of the public came out to help," he said.
"Although we do not wish to see too many of such cases, it does show that the community trusts us, and when something happens, they are willing to extend a helping hand.
"At the same time, it is important to take care of one's safety, like the man earlier had checked whether or not the accused holds a weapon."
Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect is also believed to have been involved in a similar snatch theft case last month .
The suspect, a 50 year-old man, is expected to be charged today for snatch theft.
If convicted, he can be jailed for up to seven years and caned.
How to deal with snatch thefts
Police advice on snatch thefts:
- Avoid exposing valuables unnecessarily.
- Be alert of your surroundings at all times.
- Be wary of strangers approaching you or trying to distract you.
- When confronted,remain calm. Take note of as many details of the suspect as you possibly can, such as his appearance, clothing, height, and other physical descriptions. Also take note of the suspect's direction and mode of escape. Call 999 as soon as it is safe.