Asmah Isnin, 34, admitted using an improvised device, consisting of a pen, fishing hook and some sticky tape, to pick up the grocery vouchers from the letter boxes of three people, including a married couple, according to todayonline.com.
Asmah had received her own vouchers but began looking for more by peeking through the flaps of letter boxes belonging to other residents.
She spotted two sets in a letter box belonging to a couple who had moved out. She used her improvised device to pick up the vouchers and used them.
Her actions were brought to light after the couple called the Health Promotion Board hotline asking about their vouchers. The agency informed them that the vouchers were mailed to their previous address and had already been spent.
The other victim was a 57-year-old from the same block. The woman called the Tiong Bahru Community Centre to inquire about her vouchers but learnt that they had already been used.
The police identified Asmah through closed-circuit television footage and she was arrested on Oct 16, 2020.
It was reported that she had not made restitution. Meanwhile, the victims applied to the respective authorities for replacement vouchers.
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee, Asmah has several previous theft convictions, including one in 2015 when she was imprisoned for six months for stealing an electric bicycle worth S$1,300.
The DPP sought a sentence of at least 10 months in jail in the current case. “The accused’s antecedent record clearly evinces a pattern of offences without any sign or acknowledgement of contrition or remorse,” he said.
Asmah, who was unrepresented, asked District Judge Prem Raj to defer her sentencing due to a scheduled operation and her father’s ill health. She will return to court on Feb 19 for sentencing.
Singaporeans aged 21 and above last year residing in one-room and two-room Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats and who do not own more than one property were eligible to receive the S$150 vouchers released in October and again in December. /TISG
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