He robs 'sex worker' at her home
Youth sentenced to reformative training
If you rob a prostitute, she would not dare to report the crime to the police.
That was what this gang of young robbers thought when they hatched a plan to rob sex workers.
They were proven wrong when one of their victims, a freelance masseuse, made a report three days after they had restrained her with cable ties and robbed her.
One of the robbers, full-time national serviceman Koh Zhi Wei, now 20, was yesterday sentenced to reformative training after pleading guilty to one count of robbery.
A second robbery charge and one count of being in possession of an offensive instrument - an extendable metal baton - were taken into consideration during sentencing.
His teenage accomplices, Lydia Cholris Soh Ru Hui, 18, Royce Tan Wen Jun, 19, and Chong Sheng Wang, also 19, had been dealt with in court earlier and were also given similar sentences. They have to spend between 18 months and three years in a reformative training centre and follow a strict regimen that includes foot drills and counselling.
On Nov 13 last year, Tan told Chong that he had gambling debts and wanted to earn a quick buck illegally.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenny Yang said Chong told Tan he could rob prostitutes at their apartments and claimed he had done it before.
Tan approached Koh and Soh and they agreed to take part in the robbery.
The following day, Tan and Soh bought two pairs of white gloves and a packet of cable ties.
That afternoon, Chong rented a car for $300 and picked up his accomplices. They had with them two extendable metal batons.
After making an appointment with freelance masseuse Lin Mei Rui, they drove to her home at Sims Edge condominium at Geylang East Avenue 2 at around 10.30pm.
Tan and Koh went up to her unit while their two accomplices waited in the car nearby to make a quick getaway.
When Ms Lin opened her front door, Tan and Koh took out their batons and ordered her to kneel on the living room floor.
They spotted her housemate, housewife Zhang Daoqiong, 38, and ordered her to do likewise.
The robbers used cable ties to restrain the two Chinese nationals' hands.
Tan and Koh searched the unit and made off with cash and valuables worth $5,500 in all. They left the unit and all four youngsters fled the scene in the car. Chong divided the loot when they reached a nearby multi-storey carpark.
It was not clear how they were caught.
Yesterday, District Judge Mathew Joseph sentenced Koh to reformative training even though he was found to be suitable for probation.
He said an offender's young age should not be a shield to make him immune to the consequences of his crime and there is a need to deter other potential offenders from committing similar crimes in future.
For robbery, Koh could have been jailed up to 14 years and been given at least 12 strokes of the cane.
Our Blocks Rock party moves to Bedok Reservoir-Punggol this weekend
Get to know your neighbours with the second of Our Blocks Rock parties this weekend
Residents of the Bedok Reservoir-Punggol area, prepare to party as Our Blocks Rock moves to your neighbourhood this weekend.
A cool, modern take on the pasar malam, the block parties aim to make "harmony happenin'", for residents to bond through food and fun.
This weekend's party is the second of 17 parties organised by the People's Association (PA) Panel of Activists for Community Engagement (Pace) and The New Paper.
The series of parties will travel to heartland locations all over Singapore until December.
From 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, those living in and around Bedok Reservoir-Punggol can go to the open field beside Hougang MRT station, mingle with neighbours and party until 10pm.
At the free party, they can enjoy live music by a DJ, sample contemporary cuisine or shop for unique locally made products.
The interest groups in the area will also be featured , One of them is Spyder IG, a group of 10 who formed in 2012 and who meet regularly to discuss bike trends and to use their Spyder bikes (three-wheeled motorcycles) to deliver food to the needy.
Activities including dodgeball, softball, balloon sculpting and Indian handicrafts will also be available.
Mr Ken Jalleh Jr, creative editor of The New Paper,said: "We're keen on these parties because TNP is very much a local paper aligned to the heartland.
"Also, with National Day around the corner, it's a nice way to chill and get to know your neighbours."
The first of these block parties was held at Hougang Avenue 8 earlier this month.
About 2,000 residents got the chance to taste interesting foods like Tio Smoke's crunchy cereal-like balls infused with liquid nitrogen and buy artisanal products while listening to live music.
Added Mr Jalleh: "We've tweaked a few things after the first party.
"For example, we're starting later, at 4pm, and extending the party into the night when it's not so hot."
Local vendors with unique offerings were a hit, including Soi Coco, which offers coconut shakes.
Owner Yin Peishan, 20, likens the block parties to a farmers' market.
"I thought the (block parties) were quite a different concept and I really like the way (PA and TNP) are organising it," said Ms Yin.
Owners of Abracowdabra, Mr Danny and Ms Evelyn, also found the parties special.
Abracowdabra, which specialises in halal cookie dough dishes, will be selling their popular chocolate chip cookie dough french toast.
Ms Evelyn, 20, said: "Danny is Malay and I'm Chinese. We do this (Abracowdabra) with a passion and to (show) we can be united to create something beautiful and worth sharing.
"We also have our friendly group of cafe friends such as Word and Barakah-Fe who are very multiracial. We can see beauty in diversity."
I thought the (block parties) were quite a different concept and I really like the way (PA and TNP) are organising it.
- Ms Yin Peishan, owner of Soi Coco
About the event
Our Blocks Rock parties
Open field next to Hougang MRT station
Saturday and Sunday, 4pm to 10pm
Admission is free
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New locker rental service for parcels
Tired of missing your delivery packages?
Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) introduced Rent-a-POP yesterday, which allows consumers and small retailers to rent a POPStation parcel locker, and deliver their goods to the rented locker at an agreed-upon POPStation location. Recipients can then collect them at their own convenience.
Previously, only retailers collaborating with POPStation, such as Zalora and Qoo10, could use these lockers.