Another year in jail for burglar caught on camera at daughter's flat

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 February, 2008, 12:00am

A man was sentenced to a year in jail yesterday for twice burgling the flat of his daughter and son-in-law, who installed a household video camera for surveillance after the first incident.

The District Court heard that Chen Ting-fang, 49, stole money from the flat on two occasions, the second time being caught on camera entering the flat and taking HK$1,000 from a cash box.

Chen pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary before Deputy Judge Pang Chung-ping yesterday, admitting he had stolen a total of HK$3,800 from the Tsuen Wan flat on May 18 and 20 last year.

Prosecutor Louis Fung told the judge that the flat was being renovated at the time, and Chen's daughter and granddaughter were staying at his home while the work was going on, leaving son-in-law Siu Man-lung at the flat.

Chen admitted yesterday that he had stolen his daughter's keys and entered the flat after Mr Siu left for work.

Mr Siu said he installed the video camera because he felt suspicious about the first burglary after finding both the main door and gate had been locked. It captured Chen entering the flat on the second occasion.

Police arrested Chen at his home on May 21.

He told the police that he had stolen the keys from his daughter when she was asleep and had lost all the money betting on horses.

The court heard that Chen had a previous conviction for burglary from July last year.

He was found guilty and is serving three years and three months for the previous offence, for which he had been arrested but not tried when he was detained for the Tsuen Wan burglaries.

Chen's lawyer said the money he stole from his daughter's flat was to pay his legal fees from the previous trial.

Chen lied to police about gambling because he wanted to conceal the previous offence from his family, the lawyer said.

In imposing the 12-month term yesterday, Judge Pang ordered the sentence to be added to the term Chen is already serving.