Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage recently caught a man breaking into a restaurant in Kota Tinggi, Johor
The man has since been arrested under Section 475 of the Penal Code
According to Utusan Malaysia, the 38-year-old was apprehended at his house in Taman Kuso 11 hours after the break-in.
He tested positive for heroin and police noted that he also had six previous criminal records, three of them involving drug abuse.
Kota Tinggi district police chief Supt Hussin Zamora said that the suspect is an Indonesian man who is now a permanent resident of Malaysia after having married a local.
The arrest was made after authorities received information from the public.
"Following the arrest, the police confiscated a bag of rice weighing 10kg and a Yamaha LC135 motorcycle that was registered under the name of the suspect's wife," Hussin Zamora explained.
The issue went viral on Facebook with netizens showing sympathy for the suspect
One person wrote, "Maybe he has financial difficulty and stole the items to feed his wife and kids. May God ease everything. It would be wonderful if the owner permits it."
Another netizen noted, "I feel sorry seeing someone steal food. During this Movement Control Order (MCO) we don't know if some people livelihoods were affected."
"Don't arrest him. Can I help pay for it? I feel sorry. Maybe he was desperate for his children," another comment read.
Kota Tinggi police decided to pay the man's family a visit and offer them aid
Kota Tinggi police station chief Insp Wan Nasrul Fariq told Kosmo! that he paid a visit to the family home to hand over a contribution after learning that the family lives in hardship.
"The family is quite underprivileged and they only depend on the wife's salary of RM30 a day. And she only gets paid on days she has work. Since they have young children who might need food so we took the initiative to pay a visit in order to help ease the burden of this family through the donation of basic necessities," he said.
The suspect was found to have three young children, the eldest being in Standard Three of primary school and the youngest being six months old.
"When we arrived, the wife just sobbed. We hope other people will not take the easy way out regardless of what problems we face. Every action we take has consequences," Wan Nasrul Fariq added.
He also noted that the wife did not know about her husband stealing from the restaurant.
"Even if we live in hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still room for us to apply for aid from any NGO or politician who wants to help," he added.