Following a thwarted attempt to rob a pawn shop, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi national who had disguised himself as a Sikh by wearing a turban was arrested at Muscat Street yesterday for attempted armed robbery and exhibiting an imitation firearm while committing a scheduled offence after allegedly threatening to blow up a pawn shop outside Boon Lay MRT Station last Saturday.
According to the police, Sheikh Md Razan, who is formerly a construction worker, has been overstaying in Singapore since last December,
At 4.30pm on 28 July, it was alleged that Razan had barged into the pawn shop with a knife and an imitation gun made of plastic.
Razan had then purportedly threatened to blow up the shop using an explosive device, before tossing the supposed device onto the counter and fleeing the crime scene empty-handed.
However, it was discovered that the object merely contained electrical components after the workers had thrown the object out of the shop.
Razan was identified through a backpack found by a resident of the HDB flat he had fled to in Jurong West, where he had discarded his clothing and turban, behind potted plants outside a particular unit.
Additionally, police were able to identify Razan from police cameras at the HDB flat with the assistance of a resident.
The manager of the pawnshop ValueMax, Mr Vincent Ng, who has been working for the company for 10 years, said that the suspect kept pulling the replica gun in and out during the incident.
“During a robbery, you would expect a fierce person pointing a gun or weapon directly at you, but he didn’t look very certain of himself,” he said.
According to The Straits Times, Mr Ng, 48, noted that the suspect shouted at them: “I need money. I want cash. Put all the cash inside the bag.”
He said that he was ready to surrender valuables to the man as instructed, but eventually decided against doing so, as he "was worried whether it was the right thing to do or not".
The process of tracking down Razan involved the efforts of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Police Intelligence Department, Special Operations Command and the six Police Land Divisions.
Ms Chua, however, also expressed her gratitude towards the resident who alerted the police to the backpack found behind the potted plants, which sped up the police force's search of the suspect.
There were no injuries or fatalities reported following the incident.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigation & Intelligence) concurrent Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Florence Chua said that Razan "went to great lengths to conceal his identity" and to "cover his tracks to evade detection and arrest".
She added that the Razan's case "required meticulous police work and the combined and coordinated efforts of officers from various SPF units", highlighting that the SPF has been "working tirelessly round the clock to pursue all available leads to successfully arrest the man".
"The man had displayed a blatant disregard of the law in Singapore," said Ms Chua.
Concluding with a stern warning, Ms Chua said that "the Police will spare no effort in pursuing such criminals and dealing with them in accordance with the law.”
Razan is scheduled to be charged in court tomorrow.