Teen stole motorbikes after watching YouTube videos on hot-wiring

A 17-year-old taught himself to hot-wire motorcycles by watching YouTube videos, so he could steal motorbikes with his friends.

He would cut the ignition wires to get the engine going, the court heard.

The teen, who cannot be named as he had committed the offences while under 18 years old, was sentenced to at least a year's reformative training.

He will be detained at a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that includes foot drills and counselling.

He was also barred from holding all classes of driving licences for a year from the date of his release.


His co-accused, 19-year-old Mohamad Syafiq Mohamad Jeffery, was sentenced to 1½ years of supervised probation and prohibited from holding all classes of driving licences during that period.

The court heard that the two youths and their friend went to a multi-storey carpark in Admiralty Drive on Sept 13 last year, and stole a purple Yamaha YZF-R15 motorcycle, worth about $10,000.

The 17-year-old hot-wired it between 1am and 3am, and Syafiq rode it to a friend's house. He did not have a motorcycle licence then.

Between 8am and 10am that day, the trio met at a carpark in Canberra Road to disguise the stolen motorbike by spray-painting it black. But they realised they could not start it using the same method as before and abandoned it at the carpark.

Police officers patrolling the area suspected that the motorcycle had been stolen, as it did not have a licence plate. They were able to find its registration number, which led them to its owner.

At around 6.30pm that same day, Syafiq and the teen tried to steal another motorcycle from a multi-storey carpark in Wellington Circle in Sembawang.

The owner made a police report when he discovered his vehicle was missing.

In sentencing the two youths, District Judge May Mesenas urged them to focus on their studies and stay away from negative peers. She also advised their parents, who were present in court, to supervise their children.

The third youth will be dealt with separately.

For theft of a motor vehicle, the two youths could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.- THE STRAITS TIMES