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Woman and two men stole safe and piggy banks from her family

Wan Ting Koh
·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
Singaporean dollars and piggy bank. Saving and depositing money
Singaporean dollars and piggy bank. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — In order to steal from her family, a 22-year-old woman turned to her boyfriend and his twin brother for help.

Tiffany Tan Hwee Shuan asked her boyfriend, Oh Jia Kai, 25, to keep her mother busy while she and Jia Kai's brother, Oh Jia Cheng, 25, moved her family's valuables, including her father’s envelope full of cash, a safe, and piggy banks from the flat.

Tan and the twins, all Singaporeans, each pleaded guilty to one count of theft with common intention on Tuesday (13 April). Their sentencing has been adjourned to 19 May. 

Tan planned to steal the safe from her elder brother when the rest of her family was not at home. Initially, she searched for safe boxes online with the intention to replace her elder brother’s safe, but decided against it.

She then looked at things she could steal from her elder brother and parents' room. She told Jia Kai about her plan and sought his help.

On 10 July last year, Tan rented a BMW and a red Suzuki Swift, which she intended to use to store the stolen items.

She asked Jia Cheng for his help to steal her elder brother’s safe and piggy banks, and he agreed. The next afternoon, Tan briefed the twins on their roles. Jia Kai was to help to distract Tan’s mother, while Jia Cheng would assist her in carrying the stolen items and storing them in the Suzuki Swift.

That night, Tan brought her mother out for supper in order to carry out her theft. She boarded the BMW with her mother and Jia Kai, but lied that she had left her mobile phone in the flat so that she had to retrieve it. Jia Kai waited in the car with Tan’s mother to ensure that the woman would not move from the car.

Meanwhile, Jia Cheng was waiting for Tan at the block. Tan entered the unit alone and stole her elder brother’s safe, placing it in an IKEA bag. Tan then swiped all the piggy banks in the house, unlocked the door to the master bedroom with a key from the altar cabinet, and stole her father’s envelope containing $34,000 in cash from his bag.

She dragged the stolen goods to Jia Cheng at the lift lobby and placed the envelope with the cash in the Suzuki Swift.

A while later, she returned to the BMW where her mother was waiting while Cheng loaded the rest of the items into the Suzuki Swift. 

At about 1.50am on 12 July last year, Tan’s brother returned home to see his safe, containing a Rolex watch and cash, and his piggy banks missing. He called the police. Tan’s father also found his cash missing. To conceal the fact that she was behind the theft, Tan lied that $3,000 was missing from her bag in her room.

On the morning of 12 July last year, Tan and Jia Kai transferred the stolen goods to the BMW. They sought the help of Vincent Koh Bing Jie, 25, who was Jia Cheng’s friend, to deal with the stolen goods. The two asked Koh if he knew how to break open a safe, and Koh said he did, as he was from an interior design company.

Koh picked up Jia Cheng and drove to a hardware store where they bought an angle grinder to break the safe open. Jia Cheng used a hammer to break the piggy banks open.

The two then packed their loot from the safe – two gold rings, a Rolex watch, a red packet of cash, and two set of 12 Zodiac coins, and a bag containing old Singapore notes – and piggy banks into several red plastic bags. The pair then bought a luggage and placed the valuables inside before locking it in Koh’s car boot. At this point, Koh refused to be further involved in the matter.

The luggage was later stored in a self storage room. Tan and Jia Kai also asked another friend to safeguard the $34,000, which they claimed were winnings from illegal betting. Jia Kai took $14,000 of this to spend on Tan for her birthday, which was on 23 July. He gave Tan $950 and paid $2,800 for a birthday party for her at a pub at Vision Exchange, and bought a black Louis Vuitton bag worth $3,150. He also placed $7,100 in cash in the branded bag.

Tan and Jia Cheng’s movements on 11 July were captured on POLCAM. Jia Cheng was arrested on 21 July last year after he was traced from the footage and from his Grab records. Jia Cheng initially denied his involvement and told police he was not close to his twin brother and Tan before confessing to the offence.

On 22 July last year, the police conducted a raid at the self storage facility and recovered the valuables belonging to Tan’s brother. The police recovered $20,000 and the bag containing the money. Tan also restituted the $6,900 she had spent with Jia Kai.

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