Police officer fires shot as thieves make off with radar

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 September, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 September, 2000, 12:00am

A policeman fired a shot early yesterday as he tried to stop thieves driving away with stolen speed detector equipment. The radar - worth between $600,000 and $700,000 - was grabbed from a roadside post where a sergeant was using it and destroyed as the thieves escaped.

It was believed the equipment was seized by illegal road racers who in the past have smashed detector equipment with baseball bats in revenge for previous arrests, a police source said.

The radar - used by the force since 1980 - was set up on a section of the Kowloon-bound lane of Tsuen Wan Road commonly used for illegal racing. It was manned by a sergeant working on his own, while colleagues were operating another post on the opposite side with a laser gun.

Senior Superintendent Philip Woolcote-Brown from New Territories South traffic unit said the operation had been mounted after complaints of speeding cars.

At about 3.15am, a white car approached the sergeant's guard post. The officer gave chase as a man grabbed the tripod and ran back to the car. Assistant Kwai Tsing district commander (crime) Superintendent Dennis Wong Fook-lam said: 'The car stopped and then moved forward at high speed. The sergeant fired a single shot as it tried to ram him. It stopped near him and then reversed again to Texaco Road where it disappeared.'

He said the tripod was on the car's rear passenger seat but the radar equipment, including the camera, battery and printer, were hanging outside the vehicle and were smashed and scattered on the road as the car sped off. The tripod was later found abandoned outside Chun Sing Industrial Estate in Kwai Fuk Road, Kwai Chung.

'It appeared the culprits did not want to steal [the camera] but try to damage it. Although the radar equipment is worth between $600,000 and $700,000, no one would want to buy it,' Mr Wong said.