Home News Man breaks into friend’s home, steals tortoise and posts about it

Man breaks into friend’s home, steals tortoise and posts about it

Lawyer says client, who has bipolar disorder, is undergoing treatment and taking medication

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Singapore — A 36-year-old man pleaded guilty to trespassing into his childhood friend’s home and leaving with a tortoise that he claimed was promised to him.

The man later posted a photo of himself on social media, calling the tortoise his new pet.

On Thursday (Jan 21), Roger Khoo Zhen Xuan pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal trespass for breaking and entering his childhood’s friend’s home during the Circuit Breaker period, according to straitstimes.com.

On May 23 last year, Khoo broke into his friend’s home in Sembawang while the owner was out. Khoo intended to annoy his friend, whom he had known since their school days.

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The accused ransacked his friend’s bedroom and took a tortoise, valued at S$2.50, which he said was promised to him. However, the court heard that the victim did not promise such a thing.

Khoo then called for a locksmith to repair the broken front door.

When the victim returned home, he discovered the metal gate and wooden latch on his door broken.

He connected the dots when he saw Khoo posing with the stolen tortoise in a photo on social media and claiming it was his new pet.

The victim called the police at about 11.50 pm the same day to report that his home had been broken into.

According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Alexandria Shamini Joseph, Khoo has bipolar disorder and suffered from an episode of manic relapse during the offence. The prosecution would also not object to the calling of a report to determine his suitability for a mandatory treatment order (MTO), added straitstimes.com.

Mr Joshua Tong, counsel for Khoo, mentioned his client was undergoing treatment and taking medication.

District Judge May Mesenas called for an MTO suitability report. Khoo is out on S$10,000 bail and is expected to appear in court on March 1 for sentencing.

Since the offence was committed during the Circuit Breaker period, another charge under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 was taken into consideration.

The punishment for criminal trespass includes imprisonment of up to three months, a fine of up to S$1,500, or both. /TISG

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