A 35-year-old man has been arrested in Johor Bahru after he allegedly tried to take a toddler away from her parents while right in front of them.
The mall the incident happened is frequented by Singaporeans as it is just beside the Causeway.
Man claimed he was the toddler's father
According to China Press, the man, wearing a black t-shirt and a black cap, approached the parents and claimed that he was the father of the three-year-old girl.
The incident reportedly happened at Johor Bahru City Square on Sep. 9, at around 5:30pm.
Naturally, the parents refused.
But the man continued to loiter around, and kept staring at the family.
Creeped out by the man's actions, the parents then called the police.
But when police arrived at the scene, the man had already fled in a grey Proton Persona.
The parents then filed a police report at around 6:25pm.
A picture of the man and the police report were later uploaded to Facebook to appeal for the public's help in identifying him.
Arrested a few days later
The man, whose English name was revealed to be Tony, was arrested on Friday, Sep. 13, at around 3pm.
China Press reported that he tested negative for drugs, and did not have any criminal record.
"Lost control of himself"
According to Johor Bahru South district police chief Shahurinain Jais, after the man was arrested, he denied that he was part of any kidnapping rings, and claimed he had lost control of himself momentarily due to family-related stress.
The man also claimed his Vietnamese wife had taken their two children with her back to Vietnam, and left him a huge amount of debt.
That was why he had wanted to take someone else's child home with him, he told the police.
The man will be detained till Tuesday, Sep. 17, to assist in investigations.
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