Woman in Singapore faked ‘burglary’ to steal S$57,000 worth of cash, items from family; some money used for her birthday

A young woman hatched an elaborate plan last July to steal more than S$57,000 worth of items from her family home in Bukit Batok. ― AFP pic
A young woman hatched an elaborate plan last July to steal more than S$57,000 worth of items from her family home in Bukit Batok. ― AFP pic

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SINGAPORE, April 14 — A young woman hatched an elaborate plan last July to steal more than S$57,000 worth of items from her family home in Bukit Batok. The plot involved roping in her boyfriend and his twin brother, breaking a safe, as well as securing storage to keep the stolen items.

While it was not clear from court documents why they orchestrated the theft, the boyfriend of the woman, Tiffany Tan Hwee Shuan, allocated S$14,000 (RM43,200) of the gains to celebrate Tan’s birthday later that month.

The boyfriend, Oh Jia Kai, gave her S$950, paid S$2,800 to a bar for her birthday party on July 22, and bought her a S$3,150 Louis Vuitton bag in which he placed a stash of cash amounting to S$7,100.

Tan, 22, Oh Jia Kai, 25, and his twin brother Oh Jia Cheng, who are all Singaporeans, pleaded guilty to one count of theft with common intention on Tuesday (April 13).

The trio tried to fool others into thinking there was a house “break-in” but they were exposed when a review of police camera footages showed the twin brother of Tan’s boyfriend walking out of the lift of the public housing block with two bulky bags at about 10.10pm on July 11 last year, the day of the theft.

Oh Jia Cheng was then arrested on July 21, after the police tracked down passenger details provided by ride-hailing firm Grab.

He had deleted his Grab records and his messages with his brother and Tan, and then tried to deny he had a part in it, telling the police that he was not close to the two.

He later admitted to the offence, so did his brother and Tan who were arrested thereafter.

Hatching the plan

The court heard that Tan first planned to steal a safe from her brother Theron Tan, then 28. The safe held an S$11,500 Rolex watch, two gold rings and cash, among other things.

She later decided to make it look like there was a burglary.

In scouting her parents’ and brothers’ room first, she discovered that her father’s bag contained S$34,000 in cash.

A day before the theft, she rented two cars — a BMW for her personal transport, and a Suzuki Swift to store the stolen items.

And on the afternoon of the theft, Tan briefed the twin brothers, telling her boyfriend to help distract her mother so that no one would be home that night, while his twin would help them to carry the stolen items to the Suzuki.

How it played out

At about 9.55pm on July 11 when Tan’s father and brother were out, Oh Jia Kai and Tan left the house with Tan’s mother to have supper.

When they got into the BMW, Tan lied that she had left her mobile phone at home and went back to “retrieve” it.

Tan then went to her brother’s room, carried the safe out and placed it in a bag.

She also took a key to the master bedroom from a cabinet in the hall and unlocked it before going in to take the S$34,000 from her father’s bag. She took all of the piggy banks in the house as well, along with a Louis Vuitton pouch and a box containing money inside.

Tan then used white cloths to cover the items in the bag, dragged everything to the lift lobby and shouted to Oh Jia Cheng who was standing by on the floor above to take over the transfer and storage of the stolen items.

Tan then rejoined her boyfriend and mother and drove off to have supper.

The aftermath

Tan’s brother later found his valuables missing that night and called the police. Tan’s father also discovered that his cash was gone.

Tan then told her brother and the police that about S$3,000 apparently belonging to her was missing from her bag as well, to make it seem like she was also a victim.

On the morning of July 12, Tan and her boyfriend transferred the stolen items stored in the boot of the Suzuki to the BMW.

Vincent Koo Bing Jie, 25, a friend of Oh Jia Cheng and who is now a co-accused, was allegedly roped in to help break open the safe.

Both men took the safe to a car workshop at the Toh Guan Road area near Jurong East to break it open.

The stolen items, which were then packed into a luggage, were stowed away in a self-storage facility.

As for the S$34,000 belonging to Tan’s father, Oh Jia Kai handed the money to his friend Wong Kin Pong and told him that it was money that Tan’s brother had won through illegal betting so it was not safe for him to keep the money at home, because the police were investigating other matters in the family.

Wong agreed to keep the money and Oh Jia Kai went back to him a few days later to take S$14,000 to spend on Tan for her birthday, which was on July 23.

However, the police had raided the storage facility on July 22 and they recovered S$20,000 from Wong’s house on Tan’s birthday. On July 24, the police seized the Louis Vuitton bag containing cash of S$7,100, which was to be gifted to Tan.

The trio will be sentenced on May 19. — TODAY

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