When police officer Shahizwan Shah Budin, 28, finished his shift at the Changi Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) on June 30, he didn’t realise he would still have work to do.
The officer heard an elderly man shout for help while he was walking home along Bishan Street 13 at 10pm. He saw a man run past him carrying a black tote bag, and he gave chase.
He told The New Paper at the Changi NPC yesterday: “At first, I thought it was a snatchtheft. I gave chase for about 200m until Bishan Street 12, where I caught hold of him.”
A passer-by helped officer Shahizwan pin the man down at a pathway, while he called for back-up from Bishan NPC.
“The man admitted he was an alcoholic who tried to steal six large cans of beer from the NTUC FairPrice in Bishan Street 13. He put up a struggle at first but became cooperative when I said I was an off-duty officer.”
Officer Shahizwan, whose wife is expecting their first child in December, told TNP the man who had shouted for help was the in-house detective at the supermarket branch.
“He said the man had stolen from the branch before but had not been caught.”
This is not the first time the officer, who is a Ground Response Force officer at Changi NPC, has stopped a crime while off-duty.
In November 2015, he saw a man behaving suspiciously at the Bishan MRT station and apprehended him for taking upskirt photographs of a woman.
He received a commander’s award from the commander of the Bedok Police division for his contribution in the incident.
“To me, it was a matter of being at the right place at the right time.
“I have served in the force for eight years and I enjoy frontline duty because I like to interact with the community, and it is fulfilling to me. Being recognised for this incident is a highlight of my career.”