Shoplifting in Singapore ‘easy’, says jailed tourist
Chinese woman targeted luxury shops despite being able to pay for designer goods
published : 23 Aug 2019 at 19:10
SINGAPORE: A Chinese tourist was sentenced to nine weeks’ jail on Thursday for stealing luxury apparel worth S$18,750 (415,000 baht) from Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Paragon shopping mall.
Huang Shiyuan, 26, had gotten away after stealing from the Gucci store in Paragon in December last year.
But two days later, the Chinese national was nabbed while shoplifting from the Gucci store at MBS. She admitted that she had done it again because of her previous success, and thought it was “easy to steal from Gucci”, TODAY reported on Friday.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, with another charge taken into consideration for sentencing, it added.
In passing sentence, District Judge Marvin Bay referred to Huang’s two psychiatric reports, which stated that she was suffering from major depressive disorder and alcohol use disorder.
Nevertheless, one psychiatrist said that her conditions did not contribute to her offences, which he opined were motivated by personal gain.
The judge agreed that Huang’s acts were “not impulsive in nature”, and that she had “opportunistically exploited the discretion afforded to customers to try out apparel at their own leisure in the changing room”.
“While it seems perplexing that she has paid for items in other luxury stores (there are purchases of S$870 at a Ferragamo one, and Louis Vuitton stores in excess of S$7,000, as well as S$325 from Coach), it might well be that she assessed the Gucci store to be less insulated against theft,” District Judge Bay added.
What she did
Court documents showed that Huang first struck on Dec 16 last year, when she stole a S$4,500 beige Gucci cardigan with crystal motifs from the store at MBS.
She had arrived in Singapore two days earlier.
The court heard that the next day, she went into the changing room of the Gucci store at Paragon, located along Orchard Road, with a black cardigan worth S$2,430. After removing its price tag, she put it in her bag.
She did the same thing with a blue lace blouse valued at S$2,920 and left the store.
Two days later, at about 5pm, Huang went to MBS to shop and decided to steal from its Gucci store.
Using the same modus operandi, she took a white lace blouse worth S$4,400 and a pink cardigan valued at S$4,500.
This time, the store manager called the police and told them: “There was a woman who stole from us yesterday. She is back here again.”
Police officers detained Huang when she left the fitting room. She admitted that she had the means to pay for the items.
For theft in dwelling, she could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.