Western Union armed robber, who was caught after 3-day manhunt, jailed almost 5 years

The robber who made off with $654 from a Western Union bank branch in Ubi last August was jailed for four years and nine months on Wednesday (May 2) after he pleaded guilty to the charges.

In an earlier Stomp report, Hashim Hamzah had entered the Western Union branch at Block 301 Ubi Avenue 1 on Aug 1 wearing a white helmet and a mask to hide his identity.

He ordered an employee, who was working alone at the time, not to shout and demanded for money while wielding a 15cm knife.

The female employee was unhurt and there was nobody else at the outlet at the time.

After fleeing with the cash, Hashim went to a licensed moneylender to repay a $400 loan and spent $200 on food, drinks, cigarettes, 4-D lottery tickets and heroin.

The police caught the 58-year-old after trawling through more than 1,000 hours of closed-circuit television footage.

He was arrested on Aug 3 at Pasir Ris Drive 6 following a three-day manhunt.

Hashim pleaded guilty to one charge of armed robbery and another of possessing a controlled drug, reports The Straits Times.

Anyone convicted of armed robbery faces a jail term of between two and 10 years and up to 12 strokes of the cane.

Hashim cannot be caned as he is above 50.