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Taxi driver who stole Budget grocery vouchers 'to support pregnant wife' gets jail

SINGAPORE — Finding himself in financial need and wanting to "support his pregnant wife", a taxi driver stole 30 grocery vouchers that were placed in open letterboxes.

When R Mohan noticed that several letterboxes at a void deck were left unlocked, he decided to "try his luck" to see if there was anything valuable in them that he could take.

When R Mohan noticed that several letterboxes at a void deck were left unlocked, he decided to "try his luck" to see if there was anything valuable in them that he could take.

SINGAPORE — Finding himself in financial need and wanting to "support his pregnant wife", a taxi driver stole 30 grocery vouchers that were placed in open letterboxes.

R Mohan, 54, was jailed for five days on Thursday (March 4) after pleading guilty to one count of theft. A second charge was considered in sentencing.

The court heard that Mohan noticed in October last year that several letterboxes at the void deck of Block 1 Holland Close were left unlocked.

He decided to "try his luck" to see if there was anything valuable in them that he could take. He found two sets of 15 grocery vouchers worth S$10 each in two letterboxes and stole them.

The 30 grocery vouchers, worth S$300 in all, were distributed by the Government as part of Budget 2020. They were meant to go to needy Singaporeans to help them with household expenses during the pandemic.

Mohan used 23 of the vouchers on groceries and household items from supermarkets. On Oct 7, 2020, one of the victims checked his letterbox for the vouchers but could not find them.

He contacted Fei Yue Senior Activity Centre, and an employee told him subsequently that eight of his vouchers had already been redeemed. He lodged a police report about the missing vouchers.

When Mohan was identified as the culprit, he admitted to the offences and said he had stolen the vouchers as he was in financial need.

He said he had already redeemed his own set of 15 vouchers, "but resorted to stealing others' vouchers as he had to support his pregnant wife".

He also claimed he could not work long hours due to underlying medical conditions. He later made full restitution of S$230 to the victims, while the remaining seven vouchers were recovered from his home.

Mohan is the latest in a string of people who were jailed over a spate of grocery voucher thefts.

A man was jailed seven days last month for stealing the vouchers from unsecured letterboxes. Another man was given four weeks' jail in January for stealing the vouchers, using some of them on groceries and burning the rest as offerings to his late wife.

For theft, he could have been jailed for up to three years, fined, or both. CNA

For more stories like this, visit cna.asia

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theft grocery vouchers court crime taxi driver

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