Serial Thief Says ‘I Am Your Friend’ When Caught in the Act in Victim’s Living Room


A man who had previously been sentenced to six years’ corrective training for breaking into someone’s home has once again resorted to his old habits after his release. The serial thief, identified as Muhammad Salim, 52, found himself back behind bars after being caught breaking into a woman’s home.

Salim, who had already been convicted for lurking house-trespass or house-breaking with the intention to commit an offense in 2016, was given an initial sentence of six years’ corrective training and a stroke of the cane, according to CNA.

Corrective training is a distinct form of punishment aimed at reforming and rectifying the behavior of repeat offenders, separate from traditional imprisonment.

Released in November 2021 through a “Release on License” scheme granted by the prison, Salim was obliged to reside in a halfway house. However, he absconded from supervision and resumed his criminal activities. On January 16, 2022, he pilfered belongings worth S$1,300 (US$969) from a sleeping man in Geylang, including a phone and driving license.

Just three days later, Salim scaled a fence to gain entry into an apartment in Guillemard.

From there, he burglarized a couple’s residence, stealing jewelry, watches, and other valuables valued at approximately S$1,850.

In the early hours of January 21, 2022, while under the influence of up to 10 benzodiazepine tablets, Salim entered another unit on Geylang Road through an unlocked door. He rummaged through the living room, accumulating items worth over S$4,000, including a laptop, power banks, tampon boxes, wallets, and shoes.

Unbeknownst to Salim, four residents were sleeping in their bedrooms during this intrusion.

When one of the residents woke up and discovered Salim in the living room, she immediately questioned his presence.

In response, Salim slowly rose to his feet and made his way towards the main door, incredibly asserting, “I am your friend.”

Alarmed by the situation, the woman quickly cried out for assistance and pulled Salim back into the living room. With the help of her housemates, they detained Salim and alerted the authorities.

As the case unfolds, the judge has ordered reports to assess Salim’s suitability for corrective training and preventive detention. Preventive detention serves as a severe measure aimed at safeguarding the public by incarcerating recalcitrant offenders for a period of seven to 20 years.

Salim is set to appear in court for sentencing next month, where his fate will be determined in light of these concerning incidents.

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