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Inviato da Wes von Papinešu on Gennaio 03, 2000 at 21:09:31:
THE STAR (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia) 28 December 99 Tortoise thieves to do hard time
Penang: Two unemployed men were jailed for four years by a magistrate's court yesterday for stealing 21 tortoises from the Kek Lok Si temple in Air Itam recently.
Magistrate S. Thangavelu jailed Idris Maina, 53, three years from the date of his arrest on Dec 18.
Idris, who has five previous convictions, was also ordered to undergo one year police supervision.
Goh Chin Hock, 29, was jailed 12 months, also from the same date.
Both men, of Jalan Datuk Keramat, admitted stealing the tortoises, worth RM4,000 from the temple at Jalan Dam, Air Itam at 4.30am on Dec 18.
Prosecuting officer Chief Insp J. Y. Lim, presenting the facts of the case, said the temple's Rev Th'ng Boon Chye was informed of the theft at 4.30am that day.
When he reached the tortoise pond (at the temple), he saw two men, identified as the accused persons, leaving the scene in a taxi.
Rev Th'ng suspecting that the men had stolen the tortoises, asked the people there to call the police.
The taxi with the two men was blocked at the congested market area where they were arrested by police at 4.40am.
Police checked the car boot and found the 21 tortoises inside.
In mitigation, Idris asked for his sentence to be effective from the date of his arrest while Goh said he was a first offender and therefore, should be bound over.
Chief Insp Lim asked for a heavy sentence as the crime was committed at a holy place frequented by Buddhist worshippers.
Before sentence was passed, the court was told that Goh would pass the tortoises from the pond to Idris who was waiting nearby to be taken to the taxi.