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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Sulaiman Kamal | 11:53 PM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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 JOBLESS man who came up with a devious spin on shoplifting was still caught and will go to jail.

Mervyn Koo Yong Wei, 33, helped himself to items from supermarket shelves and lied to cashiers that he had bought them earlier, but wanted a refund. And even with no receipt, he was sometimes successful in getting them.

In between cheating supermarkets, he also molested a 13-year-old girl and made three obscene calls to a police hotline.

A district court gave him an eight-month jail term yesterday. 

Asking for a deterrent sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Paul Wong Chun Yi noted that Koo had previous convictions for cheating between 2002 and 2004.

On May 19 last year, he pulled his stunt at Cold Storage in Parkway Parade, and got $113 for six boxes of hair dye. He lied that he had misplaced the receipt, but got his “refund” when the store confirmed it stocked that brand. 

On Nov 24, he was on a roll.

After cheating the Cold Storage in PoMo mall in Selegie Road of $84 with his ruse, he went to the Cold Storage outlet in Funan mall.

There, the duty manager insisted he leave the items there and return the next day with the receipt. He did not, but instead walked off with the items, which were cosmetics worth $64.

An hour later, he stole $132 worth of cosmetics from Cold Storage at Centrepoint. 

His luck ran out the next day. When he tried to trick Cold Storage in UE Square into a $121 “refund”, the police were called in. 

His reasons for targeting Cold Storage outlets and beauty products for the offences did not come up in court or in court papers.

Cold Storage did not respond to queries on its refund policy. 

Police investigations also linked him to the molesting of an underage girl in the carpark of Gek Poh Shopping Centre in Jurong West on Nov 16 last year.

The court heard that Koo approached her, claiming to have forgotten his cellphone, and asked her if she could send a text message to his friend using her phone. But the number he gave was his, so he got her number. As she was using the phone, he stroked her head and back. The girl ran off. Six minutes later, he sent her a message offering her $500 a week to be his “adopted daughter”.

On Nov 21, he drank three bottles of beer and called 999 thrice, asking the policewomen who answered for sex in an abusive way.

For molesting a victim below 14, Koo could have been jailed up to five years, fined up to $10,000 and/or caned up to 24 strokes. 

The maximum punishment for each cheating offence is a 10-year jail term and a $10,000 fine.

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