In a recent case that has happened in Singapore, four foreign students residing in the same apartment were sentenced to jail on Wednesday for their involvement in a string of shoplifting incidents at a Uniqlo store.
According to the report, the group, consisting of Indian nationals aged between 20 and 26, worked together to remove price tags and radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips from clothes before heading to the self-checkout counters.
Shihora Ridham Mukeshbhai, 20, received the longest sentence of 65 days in jail, while Hun Smit Ashokbhai, 21, was given 45 days’ imprisonment.
Kuvadiya Milan Ghansyambhai, 26, and Chauhan Ruchi Sanjaykumar, 25, were sentenced to 40 and 50 days in jail, respectively. The individuals faced various charges of group theft or attempted theft with common intention, with some additional charges taken into consideration.
According to court reports, the four convicts were part of a larger group of six Indian nationals studying at different schools in Singapore on student passes. They resided together in the same apartment, while others involved in the shoplifting incidents had left Singapore before investigations began.
The thefts and attempted thefts occurred at the Uniqlo store in Orchard Central in October, the report added.
The modus operandi involved some group members picking the clothes to steal, while others masterminded the removal of price tags. The price tags, which contained RFID chips, were removed to prevent the store’s payment machines from detecting the merchandise. This allowed the group to leave the premises without setting off the security alarms.On the evening of October 12, a group of nine individuals visited Uniqlo Orchard Central with the intention of stealing.
They selected various clothes, removed the price tags, and placed the stolen items into shopping baskets. Some members proceeded to the self-checkout counters to purchase cheap tote bags for the false appearance of payment.
Approximately one-and-a-half hours later, the group managed to leave the store with 64 pieces of stolen goods valued at around S$1,800.
A few days later, on October 16, a second group of six individuals attempted to employ the same shoplifting method at the same Uniqlo store. However, their actions aroused suspicion from a security guard who observed two members hastily packing clothes into the tote bags they had purchased. When asked for a receipt as proof of payment, one of the thieves falsely claimed that the receipt was with a friend and walked away.
The other individual then invented a similar excuse, abandoning the clothes at the self-checkout counter.
An online police report was subsequently filed by a sales assistant.
Following an extensive review of closed-circuit television footage, the police arrested the thieves on October 30, leading to the identification of both groups.
Investigation revealed that the second group had attempted to steal 72 items of clothing worth approximately S$2,300.
The prosecutor emphasized that the shoplifting incidents were planned and premeditated. He further asserted that while the offenses were relatively easy to commit, they proved challenging to detect and apprehend.
Two co-accused, Brahmbhatt Komal Chetankumar and Christian Arpita Arvindbhai, have not yet entered a guilty plea and will return to court for pre-trial conferences later this month.
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