Thief in campus nabbed red-handed by undercover police
By Yamada Kei
Sep. 19 2008
Police and NUS campus security helped arrest a man who was caught red-handed as he tried to leave The Deck canteen with a bag belonging to a student.
The Sep. 12 incident occurred at about 2 p.m. when the man dressed in t-shirt and jeans raised the suspicions of undercover policemen stationed at the canteen located in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Before he was apprehended, the man attempted to leave the canteen with an unattended black bag and was stopped for questioning.
According to the Office of Estate and Development, the arrested man is in his 40s and not a student or staff of NUS.
The police were called in to assist in nabbing the culprit involved in a recent spate of laptop thefts after the first case was reported in early September.
Two weeks ago, four cases of missing laptops from the NUS canteens were reported to the campus security.
The afternoon drama unfolded when several uniformed and plain clothes policemen were spotted at the male toilet outside LT9.
Two of the uniformed policemen had cameras and were taking photographs by the toilet door.
Jimmy Koh, outsourced campus security personnel, said, “I happened to pass by on patrol and I know the (police) staff sergeant. (He told me that) their undercover policemen had just caught a guy, and had dragged him into the toilet for questioning.”
Students in the canteen were alerted of the arrest when they saw a man being escorted by four uniformed policemen to a police car and van behind the canteen slightly before 3 p.m.
Affendy Idris, assistant manager of the Campus Security Division, said, "The suspect was detained quite swiftly, and did not resist arrest as he was taken by surprise."
To prevent identification, the arrested man requested to have his face covered when escorted to the police vehicle.
“A t-shirt was covering his face, so I couldn’t see how he looked like,” said a canteen staff, who wanted to be known as Wu.
The police personnel left the campus at about 3.30 p.m.
Following the arrest, students are urged to be mindful of their belongings as items left unattended are easy targets for thieves.
“If eating in a group, ask someone to stay behind to take care of the belongings. If alone, although cumbersome, students are advised to carry their belongings along with them. From experience, thieves can make off with items relatively fast,” said Idris.
When contacted on Sep. 12, Sergeant Derrick Choo of the Queenstown police station said they were not in a position to reveal or confirm any information regarding this incident.
Further information is unavailable at press time as investigations are still underway.
However, OED is assuring theft victims that efforts are being made to recover stolen laptops.
Stolen laptops will be returned to the owners based on records of reported stolen items kept by OED.