Sporting a cap and a mask, and armed with an umbrella, a bird thief thought he had successfully evaded detection.
Unfortunately, he was still captured on the bird owner's CCTV.
The pet owner, a retiree surnamed Fang, told Lianhe Zaobao that he bathed his three white-rumped shamas at noon on Monday (May 29), and hung their cage outside his home at Block 617 Yishun Ring Road.
A few hours later, he was shocked to discover that his beloved birds had disappeared, together with their cage.
The 62-year-old told the Chinese daily he spent about $1,000 on the three birds, and $500 on the cage.
When Fang checked the CCTV footage, he discovered that the thief had nicked the cage at 2.44pm.
He told Zaobao that he installed the CCTV outside his home to protect his birds and his plants. He also pasted warning stickers on his windows to deter potential thieves.
According to the footage, the thief lingered at Fang's doorstep, but quickly turned around while using the umbrella to shield his face as he took the bird cage.
He then left hurriedly.
The footage might have been short, but Fang and his friends still managed to identify the thief.
"[He] has small, squinty eyes and was wearing a gold chain around his neck, which made it easy to identify him. My friends recognised him immediately and they know where he lives, " said the retiree, adding that one of his friends lived near the man — believed to be staying somewhere between Blocks 633 and 655 in Yishun.
Fang also recalled that the thief was a fellow bird enthusiast who had purchased some bird-rearing equipment from him some years back.
"I only hung the bird cage along the corridor after I bathed the birds. I thought nothing would happen if they were out of the house for a while. I guess he saw me driving off and decided to steal the birds.
"He came to my place to buy some equipment before, so he knows I rear birds."
Fang has since made a police report about his stolen birds.
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