dishonest misappropriation
of property



Dishonest Misappropriation of Property
Singapore Police Force
National Crime Prevention Council


dishonest misappropriation of property

It is an act of taking someone else’s moveable property without their consent, and with the (dishonest) intent to permanently deprive them of it.

Be careful if you find someone else’s valuables and keep them in your possession.
 If you do not return them, you may be committing the offence of dishonest misappropriation of property.

If individuals adopt greater self responsibility in securing their personal properties, such crime can be deterred and prevented.

Learn how to avoid becoming a victim of such crimes. Always guard your valuable items, or be prepared to lose them.

how IT happens

- When items are left unsecured and unattended

when IT can happen

- When cash and valuable items are left unsecured and lying in the open (e.g., leaving mobile phones, notebooks, wallets, handbags)
- When bags with valuable items are left open and unattended.

It can also happen:
- When victims forget to take their valuable items and leaving them behind (e.g. after visiting public washroom).
- When victims are distracted or less aware of their surroundings.
When victims are complacent (e.g., assuming no need to secure their belongings as they will only be away for awhile).

crime prevention tips

« Be alert and attentive to your surroundings. Awareness is your first line of defense against theft.

« Avoid leaving valuable items unsecured and unattended. Always keep them close to you.

« Always keep valuable items in your view. If you must set them down, make sure they are within your line of sight.

Check that your valuables items are with you before departing. Make it a habit to do a quick check whenever you get up to leave.

Additional tips: 

  • When in public places, use bags that can be securely closed, and keep them in front of you.
  • Consider using anti-theft bags or accessories, which are designed to prevent easy access to your belongings.
  • Be cautious of people who seem overly interested in your activities or belongings. They might be planning to distract you to steal your property.

Call Police for assistance if you are a witness to such crimes.  Do it from a safe distance and/ or location.

Stay calm and observe the suspect's appearance, attire, height, or any distinctive physical features; as well as the suspect's location or the direction the suspect went.

Honesty is the best policyIf you found someone else's belongings, visit the nearest neighbourhood police centre to physically hand over the item to the police, or visit the e-kiosk for Found Property Drop Box.

Watch the video to find out more about the new Singapore Police Force self-help kiosk, where persons can return found valuable belongings/ items using the Found Property Drop Box.

For lost property, traffic accident or a police report that does not require immediate police action, such reports can be lodged online via the SPF e-Services website at A SingPass account and a valid email address are required.

Remember, taking someone else's property without permission is not only illegal but also unethical. By securing your belongings and returning lost items, you contribute to a safer and more honest community.

Singapore Police Force e-Services
Credit: SPF

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Theft/ Dishonest Misappropriation of Property



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