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Car workshop owner jailed 30 weeks for driving 'pieced together' car to steal vacuum cleaners while under driving ban

SINGAPORE — Despite two past convictions of driving while under a ban, Alvin Ng Boon Kim got back behind the wheel of a BMW car that he had “pieced together” with components from different vehicles, a court heard on Tuesday (May 10).

Car workshop owner jailed 30 weeks for driving 'pieced together' car to steal vacuum cleaners while under driving ban

Alvin Ng Boon Kim at the State Courts on May 10, 2022.

  • Alvin Ng Boon Kim drove a BMW car that he had assembled with components from different vehicles
  • This was his getaway vehicle when he stole two Dyson vacuum cleaners from a store along Orchard Road
  • He returned to the store a week later and was immediately nabbed by security personnel

SINGAPORE — Despite two past convictions of driving while under a ban, Alvin Ng Boon Kim got back behind the wheel of a BMW car that he had “pieced together” with components from different vehicles, a court heard on Tuesday (May 10).

He drove it to The Heeren building along Orchard Road in 2019, stole two Dyson vacuum cleaners worth S$2,000 that were on display at a department store there, and loaded them into the car before fleeing.

Security officers recognised him and nabbed him when he returned about a week later, which his lawyer claimed was because Ng wanted to admit to his wrongdoing.

For his actions, Ng, now aged 44, was jailed for 30 weeks and fined S$2,500 on Tuesday. He owned a car workshop at the time of his offences.

He will also be disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for 10 years upon his release from prison.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to one charge each of theft, displaying a false number plate on a vehicle, exhibiting a false identification mark on an unregistered car, keeping an unregistered vehicle, and driving while under a disqualification order.

Three other similar charges, including criminal breach of trust, were taken into consideration for sentencing.

A GIFT FOR HIS GIRLFRIEND

The court heard that Ng first went to the Robinsons store at The Heeren on July 12, 2019. He came across two Dyson Absolut v11 vacuum cleaners on display and took both of them. Robinsons has since closed.

He took the items down to the basement car park and loaded them into his car before leaving.

He confessed to the authorities that he stole the vacuum cleaners because he wanted to gift one to his girlfriend and sell the other one out of greed.

However, he then left one at a friend’s place where he was staying and discarded the other down a rubbish chute, court documents stated.

Six days after the theft, he returned to the department store. Security personnel immediately apprehended him and told the police.

The department manager had earlier viewed closed-circuit television footage that showed a Chinese male taking the vacuum cleaners. Ng admitted that he was the same man.

When the police were questioning him, they screened him and discovered that he had been disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for four years from December 2018 onwards.

Aside from that, he had also been convicted in 2016 of driving while banned from doing so.

He has not made restitution for the vacuum cleaners.

TOOK OVER BMW FROM FRIEND

As for his car, the authorities discovered that the chassis was registered to a BMW car that had been de-registered in May 2018 and was meant to be exported. The road tax had also expired.

Ng told investigators that he had taken over the vehicle from a friend named Michael Chew who was unable to service the purchase loan repayments for the car.

Ng also said that he had “pieced together” the BMW car using components from different cars.

The car registration number belonged to a Mercedes-Benz owned by an agri-business named Mewah Oils and Fats, which Ng admitted was given to him by another friend after he assembled the car.

Separately, in 2015, an enforcement officer from the Land Transport Authority responded to complaints of two BMW cars with identical number plates that were parked in an Upper East Coast condominium compound.

Ng admitted on Tuesday to owning one of the cars, which had an in-vehicle unit (IU) from another car. He had bought this car from a seller in Malaysia and displayed his customer’s number plate to avoid detection.

Drivers use stored-value cards in the IUs that are installed in motor vehicles to pay for parking fees. Each IU has a unique serial number.

In Ng's mitigation plea, his lawyer SS Dhillon told the court that Ng had been “in a very confused state of mind” after stealing the vacuum cleaners and wanted to make good what he had taken.

The defence counsel argued that he even led police officers to the car park where he had parked the de-registered BMW car.

Ng was a “bright student” who had a difficult life, Mr Dhillon added. He was forced to discontinue his degree course in computer science at the National University of Singapore due to financial difficulties, and he is a divorcee with a 12-year-old daughter.

He will begin serving his sentence on May 24 because he has to fulfil some orders for his current freelance trading job, Ng's lawyer said.

Related topics

court crime driving driving ban theft Dyson robinsons BMW

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