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After 13 years on the run, robber gets jail, caning for breaking into house and molesting occupant

SINGAPORE — When Ong Teng Heng and his friend broke into two landed homes more than a decade ago in search of valuables to steal, he took the opportunity to threaten a pair of siblings and molest one of them.
After 13 years on the run, robber gets jail, caning for breaking into house and molesting occupant
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  • Ong Teng Heng and Eddie Chua broke into two landed homes in broad daylight to steal valuables
  • Chua fled when he heard a male voice, but Ong stayed and tied up the man and his sister
  • He molested the woman before managing to flee himself
  • He then absconded from Singapore for about 13 years

SINGAPORE — When Ong Teng Heng and his friend broke into two landed homes more than a decade ago in search of valuables to steal, he took the opportunity to tie up a pair of siblings and molest one of them.

He then fled the country and was arrested only last year when he returned. He has been remanded since then.

On Tuesday (June 14), Ong, now aged 44, was sentenced to six years’ jail and nine strokes of the cane.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to three charges each including robbery and outrage of modesty.

The court heard that on March 3, 2008, Ong’s accomplice Eddie Chua, then aged 26, agreed to Ong’s housebreaking plan because they both owed loan sharks money.

Chua, who did not flee the country with Ong, was sentenced in May 2008 to four years’ jail and six strokes of the cane.

Their victims, as well as the estate they lived in, cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victims' identities.

That afternoon, the duo prepared two ski masks and a screwdriver. They also donned dark-coloured clothing before driving over to the estate at about 3pm.

After putting on the ski masks to hide their faces, they climbed the rear gate of a landed home and forced open a sliding door on the ground floor.

The pair searched for items to steal before realising that the house was linked to another by a platform, which connected the second floors of both houses.

They entered the other house this way, climbing through a master bedroom window. They then stole gold chains, silver rings, a Louis Vuitton wallet and a watch worth a total of S$2,700, along with S$1,000 in cash.

However, they soon panicked upon hearing a male voice. Chua fled the scene without waiting for Ong, who remained in the house and threatened the male with a penknife.

The two men struggled but Ong pinned him to the ground after they stumbled into the female victim’s room.

Ong then used some tape to bind the victims’ hands behind their backs, forcing them to sit on the floor before beginning to search the woman’s room.

When Ong found nothing valuable there, he told both of them to follow him to the male victim’s room. He then pocketed a Fossil watch and S$50 cash there.

Afterwards, Ong guided them to the master bedroom while holding onto the penknife. He took the male victim to a toilet outside the bedroom and tied him to the shower pole with tape, warning him not to shout for help.

Ong then returned to the bedroom, pushed the female victim into the bedroom toilet and told her to turn around with her back facing him.

She complied and he groped her under her top. He also told her that he needed money, that he was very poor, and that they could have been friends.

When he asked how old she was and whether she was still in school, she told him that the houses in the estate were built close to each other and that he should leave because her neighbours could have heard him breaking and entering.

He took her back to the bedroom, made her lie on the bed, lifted his ski mask and began molesting her while her hands remained tied behind her back.

He eventually stopped and took her back to the bedroom toilet where he offered to put her pants back on. She refused and Ong left the toilet.

She waited till she could not hear any noises in the bedroom before putting on her clothes  and going to look for her brother.

Ong left Singapore the next day.

In April last year, he approached the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand claiming to be Singaporean. Embassy employees advised him to buy his own flight ticket back here.

He was arrested upon returning on May 25 last year. Court documents did not state the reason for his return.

For the offence of lurking house-trespass or house-breaking after preparation made for causing hurt, Ong could have been jailed for at least two years and up to 10 years, as well as caned.

Those convicted of robbery can be jailed for at least two years and up to 10 years, and given at least six strokes of the cane.

Those convicted of molestation can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of the three.

Related topics

court crime robbery housebreaking threaten molest

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