Man, 26, jailed & fined for stealing 2 statues of deities from Woodlands industrial building car park

He took the statues and put them in his food delivery bag and rode away.

Belmont Lay | July 14, 2022, 08:39 PM

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A 26-year-old food delivery rider in Singapore pleaded guilty to stealing two statues of deities from a car park in the Woodlands industrial estate.

Lin Jiaqin (hanyu pinyin name) pleaded guilty in court on July 13 while accompanied by his elderly grandparents.

The incident took place at 3.11pm on Sep. 21, 2019, in the car park of 38 Woodlands Industrial Park E1.

What happened

The building's manager initially brought the two statues to the altar located outside the office at the car park in January 2019.

On Sep. 23, 2019, two days after the theft, the building's manager was informed that the statues have disappeared.

This prompted him to check the surveillance camera footage, which led to the realisation that a man dressed in pink food delivery attire was seen putting the two statues into his food delivery bag before riding away on his bicycle.

Footage of the incident was then put up online, and the man turned himself in to the police on Sep. 25 after seeing the video on a food delivery rider group. He returned the statues on the same day.

He admitted that the person in the surveillance footage was him and said the reason he took the statues was because they looked "very pretty".

The cost of the statues was S$1,888.

He was sentenced to four months' jail and fined S$2,500.

Lin faced four charges in total, including theft, dishonest misappropriation of property, and voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.

He admitted to two charges, and the other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

What happened after initial report of incident went public

Shin Min Daily News reported on the incident when it first occurred in September 2019.

The incident was widely shared online.

The man then reached out to the Chinese newspaper to claim that it was a "misunderstanding" as he brought the "black" and "dirty" statues home as he assumed that no one was worshipping them.

He told Shin Min: "I know very well that statues of deities cannot be taken away at will, so I used the moon blocks to seek and obtain the consent of the gods to let me take them home. If I didn't do that, how would I be safe and sound right now?"

Moon blocks are wooden divination tools that originate from China and come in a pair. One side of each block is curved and the other flat, and both blocks are thrown at the same time after answering a question.

A “yes” response is obtained when each of the blocks land on different sides.

Hurt girlfriend's female friend with lighter

On March 20, 2020, the man was accused of using a lighter to burn the hand of a female friend.

The accused and his girlfriend got into an argument while at the man's female friend’s Teck Whye Lane home at night.

His girlfriend, who suspected that the accused’s female friend had developed feelings for him, grabbed the other woman’s hands and asked the accused to burn her hand with a lighter.

After he did so, both he and his girlfriend warned the woman not to call the police.

The man's female friend thought that she would recover in a few days, but she sought medical attention at a polyclinic after the wound got increasingly painful.

She was referred to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital for treatment and was given 14 days of medical leave.

The man's lawyer pointed out that his client has a low IQ that falls in the range of 50 to 80, and was merely following his girlfriend’s instructions.

All images via Shin Min Daily News