Burglars steal HK$1m from official but nothing from Jean-Claude Van Damme's uncle

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 January, 2014, 8:31pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 January, 2014, 3:37am

Thieves targeted the homes of a senior Department of Justice official on The Peak and international film star Jean-Claude Van Damme's uncle in Tseung Kwan O yesterday.

The break-ins are the latest in a series of raids on luxury homes in recent weeks.

The official, Simon Lee Pak-sing, deputy law officer (civil law), reportedly lost more than HK$1 million worth of jewellery and cash from his home in Cloudridge, on Plunkett's Road, The Peak. His home is part of the government quarters for senior officials. Sources said Lee's maid asked a security guard to call police to report the crime after finding scenes of chaos when she returned home last night.

Lee could not be reached for comment.

Van Damme's uncle was luckier, by comparison.

Three intruders left his three-storey house at Silver Crest Road empty-handed after they accidentally set off a security alarm, police said.

The action star's uncle, businessman Alex Van Damme, 61, and his foreign domestic helper were asleep at home when the trio broke in at about 3am.

Police are seeking three Chinese men in connection with the break-in.

"They are thought to be aged between 30 and 40 and about 1.7 metres tall. All were wearing dark jackets," a police officer said.

The three men had climbed over the surrounding wall into the backyard of the house, police said.

"When they tried to break the glass sliding door on the ground floor, the security alarm [was] set off and a dog started barking. They then left," the officer said.

"The maid was awakened by the alarm. When she went to check, she saw three men escaping from the backyard.

At the same time, the security company to which the alarm was connected called the house to check.

The helper did not call the police because she thought the security company would do so.

Van Damme reported the break-in to police at about 10am after he discovered that no report had been made earlier.

A police spokeswoman said nothing was stolen from the property in the incident.

Kwun Tong crime-squad officers are now investigating the break-in.

Another police officer said there were at least five reports of burglary in Tseung Kwan O in the past 30 days. Officers are looking into whether they are linked.

On Monday night, the Sai Kung home of a German businessman was burgled and HK$1.6 million worth of cash and valuables taken.

Police figures showed there were 2,962 burglary reports across the city in the first 10 months of last year. This was a 16.4 per cent drop from 3,543 in the same period in 2012.