Last Updated on 2022-04-20 , 8:40 pm
While Singaporeans are often known for being (rather) law-abiding, even while overseas, there are always a few outliers that end up catching everyone’s attention.
And as of late, it seems like a Singaporean living abroad has ended up becoming the centre of everyone’s attention, but in the worst way possible.
73-Year-Old Singaporean Man Robbed Hong Kong Bank With Toy Pistol
Yup, you read that right.
According to The Straits Times, Hong Kong police officers were informed at around 3.40pm on 14 April.
They were told by a staff member of the bank that a robbery had taken place in a bank on Nathan Road in Kowloon.
Additionally, according to reports by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the robbery took place at the China Construction Bank (Asia).
The staff told police that a man had brandished a pistol, left the bank with the cash and headed towards the Sham Shui Po area.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident. (I mean, I don’t think the man managed to shoot someone with his toy pistol lah.)
CCTV Footage Revealed How Crime Took Place
Later, CCTV footage from the bank was uploaded by Channel C HK.
Based on the footage, the suspect was clad in a blue and black coat, black trousers, dark sneakers, sunglasses and a black mask during the robbery.
He passed a note to the bank staff through the space under the transparent barrier, and passed a black bag to her as well after that.
Police later revealed that the note read “I am now robbing, I have a gun”.
Thereafter, just like any robbery scene in a TV drama, he revealed his “pistol” and pointed it at the bank teller, leaving the poor teller no choice but to accede to his demands.
But what’s most impressive is that the customer standing right next to him seemed completely unfazed by his actions. I mean, maybe they’ve been watching too much TVB.
Eventually, according to the police, the man was able to obtain HK$14,000 (approximately S$2,429) from the teller.
Robber Fled the Police, 7-Hour Manhunt Launched
Like any other person with common sense, staff members of the bank proceeded to give chase after realising that the robber had taken off with the bank’s money.
The police also mentioned to SCMP that the man, who is around 1.7m tall and has a strong build, ran across Nathan Road, and the staff members lost track of him after he got onto a bus.
Following that, the police arrived at the scene and cordoned off the bank. Armed officers also conducted searches on passing buses, hoping to catch the robber.
Around seven hours after the incident, police officers were finally able to nab the man in the Pat Heung area of the Yuen Long district.
It was also confirmed afterwards that the “pistol” that he had used to threaten the bank teller with was, well, not an actual pistol after all.
It was a toy gun.
Arrest of the Man
Based on a Facebook video posted by the Hong Kong police, the 73-year-old man was led to a vehicle by officers after his arrest, with the sight being taped by various media outlets.
The man was seen to be handcuffed and had a black hood placed over his head.
According to the Hong Kong police, officers also conducted a raid at his house afterwards. They managed to find some of the stolen money, as well as the clothes that he wore when he robbed the bank.
Robber Linked to Other Crimes
And if you think that that’s all, you’re wrong.
Investigations by the police revealed that the man, who is still a Singaporean, has overstayed in Hong Kong for over a decade.
His wife is a foreigner as well but is in the country legally unlike him.
The man, who is currently unemployed, is also apparently linked to a past robbery in 2020.
He allegedly tried to rob a pharmacy in Mongkok in 2020 with a lighter, but his attempt to do so failed.
It was also revealed that the man is apparently in a great amount of debt, which might be the reason behind his attempts at robbery.
The Hong Kong Police announced that as of now, the suspect has been charged with one count of robbery and one count of overstaying.
The Hong Kong Police posted on Facebook on 15 April that the impacts brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic may have been the reason behind the man’s actions.
“The pandemic has affected the economy, and the police believe that there will be those who are willing to take the risk and turn to crime.
“The police will continue to deploy officers, conduct patrols in various areas and fight illegal activities aided by intelligence gathered,” it assured.
But as for now, if convicted of robbery, the Singaporean may be jailed for life.
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Featured Image: Facebook (香港警察 Hong Kong Police)
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