Tourist’s HK$360,000 rings stolen from locked suitcase in hotel room

Tourist says valuables missing from suitcase left in room, but police see no signs of theft

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 1:36pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 4:18am

Two diamond rings worth more than HK$360,000 have gone missing from the locked suitcase of a mainland tourist in a Wan Chai hotel room, police say.

No signs of tampering were visible on the luggage in which the 42-year-old traveller locked the rings before leaving her room at the Empire Hotel on Hennessy Road on Monday morning.

The rings had disappeared by the time she got back that night from sightseeing and shopping, though the suitcase had not been forced open.

"When she returned to her room at about 8.30pm, she found nothing unusual," a police officer said yesterday. "No damage or prise marks were found on the luggage or the lock."

She called police about two hours later. One of her rings features a two-carat diamond and is worth an estimated HK$360,000, while the other is valued at about HK$3,000, police say.

The woman arrived with two female friends from the mainland on Sunday for a seven-day visit. They are staying in the same room.

The hotel is located about 200 metres from the city's police headquarters on Arsenal Street.

A spokeswoman for the hotel said they had passed CCTV footage to the police. She said that the hotel would wait for the results of the police investigation before deciding whether to offer any compensation.

Another staff member said the hotel was no stranger to such incidents.

"Some victims forgot where they had placed their valuables," the employee said. "They later found the missing valuables in their rooms after making police reports."

The Wan Chai crime squad is investigating.

The number of reported thefts across the city has fallen since 2011, police statistics show.

Thefts dropped 6.1 per cent last year to 31,598 from 33,664 in 2012. There were 35,028 reports of theft in 2011.