Residents of an Ang Mo Kio block got a shock early Wednesday morning (Jun 29) when they found a man perched outside the window of a 12th-storey flat.
The man was allegedly perched on the metal clothes rack outside the kitchen window of the unit, before he climbed two storeys down into a 10th-floor unit.
The incident took place at Block 225 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 at around midnight on Wednesday.
The owner of the 12th-storey unit, who only wanted to be known as Mrs Lee, told Channel NewsAsia that she was in the living room when she heard a clanking noise outside her window.
"At first, I thought it was my neighbours hanging their clothes out on the metal clothes rack," she said. Seconds later, she heard a knock on her window grilles. "I thought the sound was made by a bird."
A series of rattling sounds on her grilles finally got her attention.
"I walked into the kitchen and I saw a man outside my kitchen window. His hands were holding on to the window grilles and he was balancing half-squat on the metal clothes rack. I then shouted for my husband."
Her husband, who was asleep, immediately rushed into the kitchen. "I heard my wife shouting, 'there's a burglar, there's a burglar'," Mr Lee said.
"When I saw that man, I asked him what he was doing outside my window. Then he climbed down and said 'sorry, sorry'.
"I watched him climb down into the 10th-floor unit. I then went downstairs to knock on the door. Then I came up to my home and initially decided not to call the police but my wife insisted that I did."
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the incident at 12.37am. A fire engine, ambulance, Red Rhino and two support vehicles were dispatched to the scene, and SCDF officers set up a life air pack at the foot of the block.
SCDF and police officers also went to the 10th-floor unit, but the suspect was no longer there.
Mr Lee said: "Perhaps the man ran away while my wife and I were discussing whether to call the police or not. When I went back to the unit later, it seemed quiet.”
The morning chaos stirred up curiosity and concern among residents.
Madam Kor, who has been living in that Ang Mo Kio block for 39 years, said: "I've never locked my grilles – we live so high up. I was just saying – even if I have S$10,000 at home, would you risk your life to climb up to my house?"
Another resident, Mr Winston Danial, said: "I was also thinking about the window grilles of my own kitchen. The locks are spoilt and I don't feel safe."
Residents told Channel NewsAsia that the owners of the 10th-floor unit had moved out recently. Several said that they will take extra precautions from now on to lock their window grilles and door gates.
Police said the case has been classified as intentional harassment. Contraband cigarettes were also seized from a unit at the block, police said, adding that investigations are ongoing.