A Vietnamese university student who broke into an Apple office in Singapore twice to steal and return electronic devices has been sentenced to 11 months’ jail.
The 22-year-old student, whose name was not disclosed, pleaded guilty to two counts of housebreaking and one count of theft in a district court on Monday.
According to the prosecution, the student was studying in Singapore on a scholarship and had financial difficulties. He decided to steal Apple products from the company’s office at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, where he had previously worked as an intern.
On Dec 8, 2023, he used a screwdriver to pry open a window and entered the office. He stole two laptops, two iPads, two iPhones, two Apple watches, and two AirPods, worth a total of S$12,840 (US$9,500).
He then sold some of the items online and kept the rest for his own use.
However, he felt guilty and decided to return some of the stolen goods. On Dec 15, 2023, he broke into the same office again using the same method. He left behind a laptop, an iPad, an iPhone, an Apple watch, and an AirPod, worth S$6,420, in a plastic bag with a note that read: “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”
He also left his fingerprints on the window and the plastic bag, which led to his arrest.
In mitigation, his lawyer said that the student was remorseful and had cooperated with the police. He also said that the student had a good academic record and had contributed to the community through volunteer work.
The judge said that the student had committed a serious offense that involved planning and premeditation. He also noted that the student had abused his trust as a former intern and had caused damage to the office.
He sentenced the student to 11 months’ jail and ordered him to pay S$6,420 in compensation to Apple. He also said that the student’s scholarship would be revoked and he would be deported after serving his sentence.