SINGAPORE: A 28-year-old man who allegedly stole a car in Tampines on Saturday (May 4) was arrested by the Singapore Police Force within four hours of carrying out the theft.

The police said they received a report at around 12:05 p.m. that day that a car had purportedly been stolen from an open-space car park along Tampines Street 12.

They then carried out follow-up investigations, and with the help of images from police cameras, officers from Bedok Police Division were able to determine the identity of the man who allegedly took the car and arrested him within four hours of the report of the theft having been filed.

The car that had been stolen was also recovered by the police.

The suspect will be charged on Monday (May 6) with theft of a motor vehicle under Section 379A of the Penal Code 1871. If convicted, he could face a maximum of seven years’ jail time and a fine.

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On its website, the Police warn that thieves may gain vehicle access by tampering with the doors, windows, and keyholes or by directly destroying a vehicle’s windows.

The Police would like to advise all vehicle owners to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  • Park your vehicle in well-lit areas;
  • Install an anti-theft alarm for your vehicle and ensure that it is well-maintained;
  • Remove the ignition key whenever the vehicle is left unattended, and
  • Lock all vehicle doors and wind up all windows when the vehicle is parked, even if it is for a short while,” the police added on May 5.

Private car theft has become relatively rare in Singapore, with the current rate of 1 case per 100,000 population, according to data platform Knoema.

In 2006, there were 20.1 cases per 100,000 population, and the rate has fallen gradually over the years.

Individuals who believe that their vehicle has been stolen may call 999, file a police report online, or head to the nearest police station to file a report in person.

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In 2022, it made the news when a Singapore-registered Honda Civic Type R stolen from Genting Highlands, Malaysia, reportedly appeared about 300 kilometres away in Selangor with a new paint job, a replaced car plate, and some parts missing.

The owner realized his car was missing and filed a police report. He also appealed to the online community for any leads to the incident.

The car, which was said to be worth about S$220,000, was found in a condominium car park in Sepang, Selangor, and the four men involved in the theft were apprehended. /TISG

Read also: Singaporean’s stolen Honda Civic Type R found in Malaysia carpark with new paint job & number plate