Man Steals Nearly S$11,000 From 15 Laundromats Across S’pore, Jailed 25 Weeks

Man Gets 25 Weeks’ Jail For Stealing S$11,000 In Coins & Notes From Laundromats

After stealing from his housemate and colleague, 26-year-old Zhao Huipeng had the idea of taking coins and notes from laundromats.

In total, he stole S$10,994 from 15 laundromats across Singapore. Pleading guilty to eight charges of theft and cheating, Zhao has received 25 weeks’ jail.

The court took another 13 charges into consideration at the time of sentencing.

Robs housemate & colleagues

Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports that Zhao committed his first theft against his housemate, who had shared the PIN for her ATM card with him.

Source: Vulcan Post

As he needed to pay his family’s bills urgently, he withdrew S$1,000 from her account using the card on 30 Jun 2021.

CCTV cameras managed to capture the incident, which occurred without his housemate’s knowledge or consent.

In July of that year, Zhao was at the electronics firm he worked for when he noticed that his colleague left his locker unlocked.

Using his phone to take pictures of a debit card inside a wallet, he allegedly transferred S$293 (1,600 yuan) into his own digital WeChat wallet.

Four days later, the colleague filed a police report, following which the firm fired Zhao.

Man steals from 15 laundromats across Singapore

According to CNA, Zhao was in need of funds. As such, he decided to steal from coin exchange machines in unmanned laundromats before his return to China.

Source: Oli Woodman on Unsplash

Zhao did this by visiting the laundromats late at night, as there were fewer people around. He would reportedly don a black cap and a pair of white gloves to hide his identity.

Using a screwdriver, he pried open the machines to access the notes and coins within. This process typically took less than five minutes.

Between Jul and Sep 2021, Zhao stole S$10,994 from 15 laundromats across Singapore, in locations like Hougang, Bedok and Choa Chu Kang.

The largest amount he took was S$2,000 in coins and notes from a coin exchange machine at a Mister Wash outlet at Bedok Reservoir Road.

Source: Mister Wash

The repeated number of thefts, which were captured on CCTV, apparently left the machines with visible damage.

In sentencing, the prosecutor asked for at least 25 weeks’ jail. He labelled Zhao a “serial thief” who stole from his colleague, housemate and laundromats.

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