Who would have known that a cheap convenience store burger would be the key to stopping a woman on an illegal shopping spree?
A 30-year-old woman chanced upon a credit card she found in the women’s bathroom in Jurong East Mall. Instead of looking for the owner to return the credit card, the woman treated herself at someone else’s expense and went shopping for clothes, groceries, and food.
Within 16 days, Loke Choy Yen had already charged S$455.72 on the stolen credit card, as reported by Today Online.
According to court investigations, Loke found the OCBC NTUC Visa credit card left on the bathroom floor of Jurong East Mall last Nov 19, 2018. She tried to test if the card was still valid by charging one cent on it at the Penang Culture restaurant where she worked.
Upon learning that the card was in fact still working, Loke went on a shopping spree over the next two weeks. She shopped for children’s clothes at Westgate Shopping Mall, shoes at JCube Shopping Mall, groceries at Sheng Siong supermarket, and went on a night out at the Duke Shanghai Pub.
Perhaps craving for a late night snack, Loke went to a 7-Eleven convenience store on Dec 4. She tried to purchase a S$3.20 burger using the stolen credit card, but the transaction was declined.
Police identified Loke using the CCTV footage from the convenience store, and she was arrested on Dec 18.
Loke has pleaded guilty to one charge of dishonest misappropriation and another under the Computer Misuse Act. Loke was also convicted of six charges of cheating while 15 additional charges will be considered during sentencing on June 24.
Loke’s lawyer negotiated for a fine of S$1,000, arguing that Loke’s shopping spree was merely a “lapse of judgement.”
“She did not steal the card, she picked it up. It’s a lapse of judgement,” lawyer Peter Ong said.
Loke is apparently the breadwinner of her family. She has a baby daughter, an unemployed husband, and a diabetic mother-in-law who rely on her earnings.
She could face jail time up to two years while each charge of cheating can lead to three more years in jail. She can also be fined S$5,000 and faces two years of jail for violating the Computer Misuse Act.
The lawyer requested that the court “temper justice with mercy” in Loke’s case. -/TISG
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