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Jerry Ee, convicted of a major watch heist, faces up to 60 years in the slammer.

An article by Penny K

jerryeeWe’re so late to the party -news of the Cortina watch heist has been making headlines for a while now. In a nutshell, Singaporean Jerry Ee, 35, made off with about SGD$433,000 worth of watches from the upscale watch store, Cortina (located at Raffles City Shopping Centre), at which he was a supervisor on 25 December last year.

A district court heard how he returned to the Cortina outlet at Raffles City Shopping Centre after closing hours last December 25 with two empty luggage bags. He packed 366 new watches from the safe and left in a rented limousine. He was across the Causeway within two hours. He met a friend in Johor Baru and they fled by taxi to Hatyai, Thailand. They finally made their way to Bangkok where Ee sold 21 watches for about 3 million baht (SGD$127,000).

watchesThe two men remained in hiding in Pattaya for three months before surrendering on March 17. By that time an Interpol Red Alert notice had been issued against Ee who would have faced immediate extradition to Singapore had any of the 187 Interpol members found him.

As it turns out, it wasn’t a one off incident. Ee had been pocketing new watches as well as watches sent in for repair since 2006. Once in his hands, he would pawn these items. When customers asked for their watches, he replaced them with new ones. Watch brands included Patek Phillipe, Audemars, Piguet and Rolex.

Following his arrest, Ee turned in 230 watches worth $4.6 million and $16,160 in cash.

He has convictions on two counts of theft in 1989 and for cheating in 2004. His lawyer will plead for leniency on September 18. Ee faces 25 charges and is convicted on four counts of criminal breach of trust as a servant and one for moving $7.6 million worth of property out of Singapore. Ee faces a jail term of up to 15 years on each of the CBT charges.

Clearly, one man’s greed is his own poison. We can’t decide if he’s a kleptomaniac, but we doubt so. The heist he carried out was too elaborate. Hate to sound like an official mouthpiece but nobody’s above the law and you will be caught – all in good time.

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