Resident nabs burglar at Edgedale Plains

Punggol Town

The New Paper reported that a Punggol resident, Mr Peck chased after a burglar nine stories down from the door of his flat and caught him finally.

Koh Soo Lin had been breaking into homes through the front door without arousing the suscpicion of neighbours, even when he created a din by breaking locks.

Mr Peck and his wife returned home from a week-long overseas trip when Koh was inside their flat on 14 Dec last year. When they returned home at 4.30am, Mrs Peck found it difficult to unlock the gate and the door.

She said:’I told my husband that may be someone had broken into our flat. This was the last thing I wanted as we were very tired. I was expecting to find all our valuables stolen.’ When she finally unlocked the door, she couldn’t open it. It felt as though somebody was pushing against the door. Just when I pointed out to my husband that the burglar could still be in our flat, the door burst open and a man shouted at us. It gave us a fright.’

Holding a haversack anda paper bag filled with stolen items and his tools, Koh ran straight at the Pecks. Caught offguard, the couple stepped away. Mr Peck said:’I saw that he was holding something sharp and long in his hands. Perhaps it was a screwdriver.’ He was surprised to find that the burglar did not look scruffy, but was dressed in ‘proper long pants and a tucked-in shirt’.

Koh then ran towards the stairs. Mr Peck shouted to his wife to call the Police and gave chance. Both men knocked down items like bamboo poles that were left near the staircase. Mr Peck also threw shoes and slippers at Koh.

When they reached the ground floor lift lobby, Koh dropped the paper bag. But Mr Peck did not stop and the two men ran into the basement carpark. Said Mr Peck:’At that point, I think he had enough. After I cornered him, he surrendered and we both sat down. Out of breath, he kept asking me for forgiveness, saying he would fix my door’s damaged locks, if I let him go. There was no way I was going to do that.’

He said he initially felt sorry for Koh. But he was also angry about being the burglar’s target and was determined to detain Koh. Said Mr Peck: ‘I realised later that I could have put myself in danger by chasing the burglar. I was alone and I had no back-up. What if he had used a weapon on me? At that time, I wasn’t trying to be a hero. I just wanted to do the right thing.’

Mrs Peck added: ‘Luckily, the police arrived 10 minutes later. ‘I was relieved when I saw my husband was okay because the burglar, who was big-sized, could have injured him.’

Koh had nearly got away with about $2,500 in jewellery and watches belonging to the Pecks, but they recovered it all. But their front door still bears the many screwdriver marks he left. Said Mr Peck: ‘The padlock on my gate was strong and cost me $200 and he still managed to break it. Imagine if it had been a cheaper one.’

When Mr Peck learnt that he had caught the slusive burglar, he was happy he had not let him go. ‘It just wouldn’t be fair to the other residents he had stolen from,’ he added. Koh was later sentenced to six years of correective training and 15 strokes of the cane.

Mr Peck feels that he should have asked one of his neighbours to keep his newspaper left at his door during his absence. He said: ‘I think the burglar was confident when he saw the newspapers left at my door as it told him that the owner was away.’

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