Police NSman commended for nabbing shoplifter
When he saw a supermarket security guard pursuing a man, shouting "stop, stop", Mr Bahari Haron, 27, instinctively joined the chase.
He ran up two flights of escalators from basement two to the ground floor of Hillion Mall in Bukit Panjang, gaining on the man, who was holding a plastic bag with two bottles inside.
Before the man could get the glass sliding doors leading to the drop-off area outside to open, Mr Bahari tackled him to the ground and pinned him down.
For assisting the guard, an elderly man, to detain the suspect, Mr Bahari was commended for his public-spiritedness by Assistant Commissioner (AC) of Police Devrajan Bala in a ceremony at Jurong Police Division yesterday.
Recounting the incident, which occurred on May 18 at about 10.30am, Mr Bahari said he was on his way to work when he saw the commotion.
"I thought it was an emergency. I just gave chase because I felt that for a person to be running away, he has very likely done something wrong," he said.
"When he fell (to the ground), the two bottles broke and I saw that it was liquor. And I immediately thought it was a shop theft."
Praising Mr Bahari's courage and civic-mindedness, AC Devrajan said: "It is indeed heartening to see the strong partnership between the police and the community.
"The vigilance and bravery displayed by Mr Bahari is indeed highly commendable".
Mr Bahari, an assistant manager who is also a national serviceman with the Singapore Police Force, told reporters at the award ceremony that his tackle had caused the suspect to scrape his knee.
Mr Bahari was not hurt.
Security guards from the supermarket and the mall then arrived and called the police.
Mr Bahari said the man had pleaded with him to release him, claiming that he was a wanted man.
The New Paper understands the man is Lau Chiew Hwee, 32, and he was arrested for stealing alcohol from the supermarket.
TNP also understands Lau was later convicted in court of various offences and jailed for 24 months.