The luxury Clear Water Bay house of television personality Liza Wang Ming-chun has been burgled for the third time since she moved in 25 years ago.
Thieves made off with a safe containing HK$3 million in cash and valuables, including her wedding ring. Detectives are investigating whether the break-in at the four-storey house in Rainbow Villas in Silver Lake Road was an inside job.
Police said it appeared the intruders had inside information as they seemed aware that surveillance cameras at the house were not working. "They struck when two domestic helpers went out to walk the dogs and the house was unoccupied for less than half an hour," an officer said.
It was the third time Wang's house had been hit by burglars since she moved there in 1988. Bought in 1987 for HK$2.93 million, it is now estimated to be worth HK$55 million.
Wang, 65, a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, called police at 10.15pm on Monday after one of her two helpers alerted her to the break-in.
Wang was not at home and the maids had left the house at 9pm to walk three dogs. They returned home to find the house ransacked.
"The safe was stolen from the second-floor master bedroom, where it was hidden in the wardrobe," a policeman said.
Wang believes the burglars climbed onto the first-floor balcony and pried open a window to enter the guest room. "They went straight to my master bedroom [on the second floor]. The whole bedroom was ransacked and turned upside down," she said.
The safe contained HK$3 million in jewellery and foreign currency. Wang, married to comedy actor and former Chinese opera star Law Ka-ying, said the jewellery included her wedding ring.
Kwun Tong district crime squad is investigating.
Last weekend police warned homeowners against storing valuables in home safes. More people are reportedly stashing their valuables in home vaults due to a shortage of bank safe deposit boxes and a number of brazen daylight robberies.
The crime prevention bureau said home safes should be a short-term alternative for safeguarding valuables.
There have been 30 reports of burglary along Clear Water Bay Road in the past six weeks, and most of the targets were houses. More than HK$5 million in cash and valuables were stolen in one of the raids. Earlier this year, there were several cases a month.
A senior officer believes at least three gangs are responsible.
He said police had stepped up patrols over the past two weeks. On Saturday night, a mainland man was nabbed as he tried to flee a house in the neighbourhood after breaking in.