Thief strikes at home of assistant police chief

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2012, 12:00am


A raid on the home of one of the city's top policemen netted a thief more than HK$4 million in jewellery and cash - because the officer failed to follow his own force's security tips.

The valuables were taken from the Kowloon Tong flat of Assistant Commissioner Vincent Wong Fook-chuen, who is due to retire this month, while he and his wife were in Britain.

There was no security alarm in the sixth-floor apartment in Bellevue Heights, Boundary Street, and police investigations found the safe the valuables were left in was broken into using a screwdriver.

'A toilet window was not fixed with a grille. This gave access for an intruder to climb into the apartment,' a police officer said. Only one security camera, pointing at the front entrance, serves the nine-storey building, and a security guard is stationed at the front door.

The force advises people not to leave valuable items and large amounts of cash at home.

Wong, who is on pre-retirement leave, has spent about 32 years with the force. He and his wife, a retired chief inspector, are due home next week. The burglary was discovered at 9.30am on Monday, when the couple's part-time domestic helper arrived. It is is believed to have taken place at the weekend, as the helper had last visited on Friday.

Police said the intruder scaled a wall at the back of the building. 'The burglar climbed drainpipes to the sixth floor, prised open the toilet window and then climbed into the unit,' another officer said. The raider fled by the same route.

Footprints found on the wall indicated only one person was involved.

'We believe the burglar wore gloves ... because no fingerprints were found,' the officer said. 'We believe it was a random raid. I don't think anyone would dare target the home of a police officer.'

But a neighbour suggested otherwise, saying: 'It is believed that the burglar knows my neighbour very well because the family is currently on a trip.' She said only the master bedroom had been ransacked, with all the drawers left open.

In 2010, Wong and three fellow officers were disciplined for abusing their authority by using the special immigration channel to enter Hong Kong after a night in Macau. He is believed to be the most senior police officer to have been disciplined.