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A 25-year-old groom-to-be was fired from his job in March 2016 after a leg injury.
Saddled with his parent’s medical bills, the desperate man turned to robbery, targeting two elderly women at different parts of Singapore within 10 short hours, reports Shin Min Daily News via Lianhe Zaobao.
The two robberies happened on Jun 11, 2016 on the sixth storey of Block 95, Old Airport Road, and the eighth storey of Block 678, Hougang Avenue 8 respectively.
The suspect was arrested and charged with two counts of robbery and was sentenced on Wednesday (July 5) to two years and three months in prison., as well as six strokes of the cane.
The judge took into consideration that the accused was about to get married before getting retrenched and had to care for his step-father who had tuberculosis, as well as his mother who had high blood pressure.
Other than the medical bills of his parents, he also bore the expenses of his three-year-old niece.
The combination of these factors depleted his bank savings and caused tremendous stress on his finances, which led him to commit the crimes.
One of the victims, a 78-year-old elderly woman said that the man had taken a necklace which was left behind by her late daughter, and gave chase the robber down eight storeys.
The woman told reporters that she had was shopping for groceries and chatted with a neighbour at the void deck of Block 678, Hougang Avenue 8 at around 1pm on the day of the incident.
After talking for a few minutes, she entered a lift, and the accused followed closely behind.
She said: "When the lift reached the 8th floor, he suddenly grabbed my arm just as I was exiting.
"He then reached over from my back and forcefully removed the gold chain with his left hand.
"The jade pendant which was connected to the chain fell to the floor.
"I put up a fight but he was too strong.
"He pushed me to the ground, picked up the pendant and ran towards the stairs."
The victim said that although she was in pain, she could not give up as the items were left behind by her late daughter.
She got up and ran after the man.
She added: "My daughter passed away from cancer when she was 20 years old. The necklace is all I have left of her.
"It cost about S$2,000, but to me, it was worth so much more. I had to get it back no matter what."
She quickly chased after the man, shouting for help along the way.
However, by the time she reached the ground floor, he had already escaped to an opposite block.
Court documents revealed that at 10.45pm on the same day, the accused had robbed other elderly women, taking with him a gold chain worth S$780.
He was later arrested on the same night at around 11pm, while attempting to flee the scene in a cab.