Man jailed 1 week, fined for stealing 11 live crabs from House of Seafood restaurant in Punggol
SINGAPORE — A 59-year-old jobless man was jailed for one week and fined S$1,000 on Thursday (July 22) after stealing 11 live crabs from a seafood restaurant’s fish tank and misappropriating someone else’s groceries.
- Abdul Karim Mohamad teamed up with his younger brother to steal 11 live crabs last year
- They had chanced upon the crustaceans at the House of Seafood restaurant at Punggol Settlement
- Abdul Karim pleaded guilty to one theft charge and another unrelated one of breaching Covid-19 rule
- He was jailed for one week and fined S$1,000
SINGAPORE — A 59-year-old jobless man was jailed for one week and fined S$1,000 on Thursday (July 22) after stealing 11 live crabs from a seafood restaurant’s fish tank and not properly wearing a face mask when misappropriating someone else’s groceries.
Abdul Karim Mohamad, a Singaporean, teamed up with his younger brother to filch the crustaceans from the House of Seafood restaurant at Punggol Settlement last year.
He pleaded guilty to one theft charge and another unrelated charge of breaching Covid-19 laws by failing to wear a face mask over his nose and mouth when misappropriating the groceries at a void deck.
If he cannot pay the fine, he has to serve five more days behind bars.
The court heard that on Sept 21 last year, Abdul Karim and his brother, Mohamed Zainal Mohamed, were walking along Punggol Settlement — close to Coney Island — when they chanced upon a large tank containing multiple crabs.
Abdul Karim began removing and placing crabs in a plastic bag which he handed to Zainal.
The pair then attempted to flee with five large crabs valued at S$140 each, and six small ones valued at S$29 each. The total value came up to S$874.
However, a customer informed the restaurant manager about this.
The manager shouted at the brothers. They began running away but Abdul Karim failed to outrun the restaurant staff.
He was quickly apprehended and made to return the crabs.
For receiving stolen property, Zainal was given a 12-month conditional warning in May.
The House of Seafood previously made headlines in 2019 by putting live crabs in a claw machine, leading the owner and management team to apologise at a press conference.
A month ago, it attracted controversy again after posting photographs on Facebook of staff walking some crabs on leashes. It led to the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals visiting the restaurant.
The restaurant owner explained that he did not intend to harm the crabs, and they had only been used to pose for photos for a short while.
Separately, Abdul Karim took two plastic bags of groceries that an elderly man left at a Housing and Development Board block’s lift lobby on Oct 8 last year. The address was redacted from court documents.
The bags contained cans of sardines, corned beef and oatmeal, as well as two loaves of bread. The victim had briefly left the bags at the lift lobby to return to his motorcycle.
Abdul Karim was captured on police camera footage taking the groceries with his face mask pulled down to his chin.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ong Xin Jie told the court that Abdul Karim was fined for theft in 1980 and jailed for 30 months in 2003 for a similar offence. Most recently, he was jailed for seven years and given six strokes of the cane in 2007 for drug consumption.
For theft in a dwelling, he could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.
He could also have been jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or both, for violating Covid-19 laws.
Related topicscourt crime crab claw machine crab Punggol
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