JOHOR BARU: A 52-year-old former air force sergeant is believed to have resorted to burglary to pay for his medical bills over the past two decades.
Doctors had diagnosed the unemployed man as having acute diabetes after he left the air force in the 1980s.
He has since been ransacking dozens of houses around the country, mainly in the Klang Valley and Johor, and using the money he stole to pay for his regular insulin dosages, which cost between RM500 and RM1,000 each.
Despite being convicted numerous times since 1985, the man continued to steal. Records showed that he was recently released from prison.
In the past few weeks, he had allegedly broke into homes in Salak South and Jalan Bandar in Kuala Lumpur.
Initial investigations found that the man would survey a targeted house for a few days before striking when the occupants were either sleeping or had gone outstation.
The man would use a crowbar to prise open window panes at the back of the house before entering.
The man usually stole small electrical items as well as cash, jewellery and other valuables which could be taken away easily.
Officers from the Kuala Lumpur crime prevention unit have found the man's fingerprints at dozens of crime scenes.
Several days ago, police managed to track down and remand the man to assist in investigations.
City Deputy CID chief Asst Comm Syed Ismail Syed Azizan confirmed the arrest.
Sources said some of the stolen items were worth between RM10,000 and RM25,000 each.
The man would take them to second-hand dealers, who would pay hefty sums for the stolen items, the sources said, adding that the man would use the money to buy medication.
Police are tracking down the second-hand dealers to recover the stolen goods.
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