SINGAPORE – The suspect in a theft case that spread on social media after it was posted on Facebook has already been arrested and charged, the police said.
Facebook user Evelyn Tan, 31, posted on Sept 18: “My grandma was recently drugged by a middle age man at a polyclinic and subsequently robbed of her gold necklace, wedding ring, together with her wallet and keys.”
She added that she had been informed by the police that her grandmother was not the only victim in such a ploy.
Her post had been shared at least 1,000 times as of Tuesday evening (Sept 24), and had also been shared on WhatsApp.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, a police spokesman said: “Between Aug 31 and Sept 9, the police were alerted to a case of theft and misappropriation of property along Queensway, and a case of theft along Jurong East Ave 1.”
The spokesman added that a 58-year-old man was arrested on Sept 10 in relation to the cases, and charged two days later, on Sept 12.
Police are investigating the cases.
In her Facebook post, Ms Tan said she wanted to warn elderly people of individuals like the suspect, who lurk around hospitals and clinics impersonating nurses or clinicians, to “hoax them into taking medications that are likes of sleeping pills or relaxants”.
“When in doubt, always ask to speak to the doctor before taking the medication,” wrote Ms Tan.
She said her grandmother had been in a daze after taking the “medicine” and collapsed in a street near Queenstown Polyclinic. She was eventually taken to the Accident and Emergency unit at the National University Hospital (NUH).
“The audacious thief also located where my grandma lives using the address on her IC and appeared at the doorsteps of my uncle’s flat,” wrote Ms Tan.
“He tried to break into the house with my grandma’s keys, but did not succeed as my cousin was at home.”
Ms Tan said she was informed by the police that a man in his 50s has since been caught, and that her grandmother was not the only victim, with other cases reported at NUH or polyclinics in the vicinity.
“This was a painful experience for my grandma, but we’re all glad that the guy has been caught. We do not know if he belongs to any syndicate or is he just a lone ranger,” wrote Ms Tan.
“Nonetheless, we hope that our experience can serve as a warning for other elderly folks out there.”