Chinese national jailed for housebreaking, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Chinese national jailed for housebreaking

A Chinese national who broke into three houses by climbing walls before escaping via the drain system has been sentenced to two years’ jail.

Wei Qingyou, 36, pleaded guilty on March 11 to three charges of housebreaking to commit theft amounting to more than $3,000, and was sentenced to two years’ jail. Three other charges were taken into consideration.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yeo Zhen Xiong, who sought a sentence between 24 and 28 months, said Wei arrived in Singapore on Aug 27, 2023, with the intention of committing crimes, as he was facing financial difficulties in China.

Between Aug 30 and Sept 1, he bought tools to help him commit the crime, including a hacksaw, a bolt-cutter, a prying bar, a screwdriver and a pack of gloves.

On the night of Sept 1, he made his move. Wearing a cap, a black hoodie and track pants to avoid detection, he targeted houses located near Pasir Ris Park.

DPP Yeo said Wei engaged a driver to take him to the location, and targeted the houses between 7.16pm and 9.18pm.

Court documents did not say where he engaged the driver from.

Wei entered the first house through the kitchen window at 7.16pm by climbing over the fencing wall area from a back lane. He forcefully opened three safes, before making off with about $1,550.

He entered the second house at around 8.30pm through a helper’s room on the second floor after climbing a wall, the court heard.

The helpers in the house spotted Wei as he was looking for things to steal, and alerted the owner and his guests.

The owner, his wife and his guests went up to the second floor to investigate, and spotted Wei trying to escape through the same window in the helper’s room.

The guests and one of the helpers held on to Wei’s backpack to hold him back. Wei then swung the prying bar around, but did not hit anyone. He then let go of his backpack, which contained his tools and the stolen goods, and escaped.

At 9.18pm, Wei climbed into the third house from a rear drainage passageway. He used his prying bar to turn a closed circuit television camera away, before entering through a kitchen window.

After sifting through a safe and some drawers, he left the house with $1,632 before discarding the clothes he had used during the brazen crime spree.

He then booked a flight leaving Singapore on the afternoon of Sept 2, 2023, but was arrested at Changi Airport.

Wei was found with more than $1,600 in Singapore currency and around $1,900 worth of foreign currencies on him.

For housebreaking, an offender can be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years’ jail per charge.