38-Year-Old Man Steals 70 Tins of Milk Powder From Supermarkets & Sells For Profit, Jailed


On Monday (August 7) a 38-year-old man named James Ho was sentenced to 18 months in jail for a series of thefts involving 70 tins of milk powder, which he subsequently sold for profit.

The thefts occurred between October and December 2021, with a combined value of S$6,700. In addition to stealing the milk powder, Ho also confessed to receiving four stolen tins, worth approximately S$480. He faced a total of five charges of theft, while another 14 charges were taken into consideration during the sentencing.

The court also took into account that Ho had reoffended while on a remission order for a previous sentence, resulting in an extra 233 days added to his prison term, according to CNA.

Earlier, in March 2020, he had been convicted for similar thefts but soon after his release, he committed the same crimes again.

During the recent thefts, Ho targeted primarily Sheng Siong supermarkets in various locations, along with two NTUC FairPrice stores. His modus operandi involved stealing four tins on each occasion, which he concealed in a large reusable shopping bag. In some instances, he was aided by an accomplice, Yeh Chia Wei, who acted as a lookout.

Upon discovering the thefts, store staff promptly made police reports. Both the prosecution and defense requested jail sentences ranging from 18 to 24 months, with an additional enhanced sentence of 233 days, considering Ho’s history of repeat offenses.

In a bid to mitigate the sentencing, Ho’s lawyer highlighted his efforts to turn his life around.

Since the incidents, Ho has abstained from criminal activities, pursued higher education, and improved his financial standing through his business endeavors.

However, District Judge Wong Li Tein, presiding over the case, referred to Ho as a “recalcitrant offender.” She emphasized that the thefts were premeditated, as evidenced by the large bag used to conceal the stolen goods and the sheer number of offenses committed.

On a positive note, the judge acknowledged that Ho had made full restitution to the affected stores. As a compassionate gesture, she granted a two-week deferment of the sentence, allowing Ho to marry his fiancée. Each charge of theft could have resulted in a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment and a fine.

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