SINGAPORE, Feb 9 — A manhunt is currently underway for a suspect who allegedly robbed a SingPost branch at Potong Pasir Community Club of S$3,000 (RM8,868.93) cash while wearing a surgical mask yesterday afternoon.
In a Facebook post yesterday, the police said the robber had, at around 1.30pm, allegedly demanded the female staff at the counter to hand over all the money.
The female staff immediately ran into a nearby room for safety.
“The male suspect then climbed over the counter and made off with the cash that was placed in the drawers,” said the police.
“No weapon was involved and no one was injured.”
Responding to queries from TODAY, a SingPost spokesperson said their staff are trained to “remain calm and alert in such situations”.
“Safety of our employees and customers is our top priority,” he said.
Meanwhile, the People’s Association (PA), which manages the community club, has provided footage to the authorities to assist in the investigations.
“Our premises are monitored by CCTVs. This has enabled us to help the police with their investigations,” said the PA.
SingPost said that Thursday’s robbery is the first such incident for the postal service company “in at least 10 years”.
The suspect was described by the police as wearing a black cap, a black sweater, blue jeans, and black shoes.
He was also carrying a black sling bag.
TODAY understands that the suspect’s height is between 1.6 and 1.7 metres.
He was last seen running in the direction of Upper Serangoon Road, along Potong Pasir Avenue 1.
A witness, Richard Low, 25, said he was sitting near the main lobby of the community club when he noticed a man, dressed similarly to the photo the police put up, rush by.
“I just saw a guy wearing a mask walk by me... I was thinking (who) walks so fast, like he was rushing, so I looked up,” said the chef.
Low was sitting there while waiting to have lunch with his fiancé, who was working in the area.
He left for lunch around 2pm and saw police cars lined up outside the building when he returned around 3pm.
Engineer Ryan Kumar, 41, was playing badminton with his friends at the community club around 4.45pm when he learned about the incident through friends and social media.
“I’m quite surprised (because) it happened in (broad) daylight,” he said.
But he felt that this was probably a one-off incident and does not think the area is unsafe.
Besides, the CCTV cameras were also able to capture a picture of the suspect walking off, he noted.
Art trainer Goh Chew Han, 63, said the community club has always been quite quiet in the afternoons, with only a handful of residents coming by. He teaches art to the children at the community club three times a week.
“I thought it was weird that the robbery happened at a post office... unlike a bank, the post office doesn’t keep much money,” he said in Mandarin.
But another elderly resident living in the area said she was worried after hearing about the robbery.
Lim Qing Hiong, 75, said the police should conduct more patrols in the area now that something like this has happened.
SingPost said that while police investigations are ongoing, their Potong Pasir branch will open “as usual” this mornig at 9.30am.
The authorities request anyone with information to call their hotline at 1800-255-000, or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
Yesterday’s robbery makes it the fourth such case in recent years in Singapore.
In August last year, a knife-wielding robber wearing a helmet and a mask to hide his identity made off with more than S$1,000 from a Western Union branch in Ubi.
He was caught after a three-day manhunt.
In the same week of that year, a man wearing a helmet and donning sunglasses and gloves went up to a cashier at a Shell station in Upper Bukit Timah armed with a kitchen knife, and demanded cash from the register. While he made off with S$1,100, he was arrested by the police within four hours.
In 2016, Canadian David James Roach allegedly strolled into a StandChart bank branch at Holland Village in July, handed the teller a scrap of paper, and walked off with S$30,000 cash.
While he managed to escape Singapore to Thailand, he has since been detained in the United Kingdom and could be extradited to the Republic. — TODAY