CRIME

The real cat burglars: Thieves steal 23 pedigrees during HK$1 million raids

23 British shorthairs among HK$1m worth of valuables taken in three raids in two days

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2014, 2:29pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 April, 2014, 11:30am

Twenty-three British shorthair cats were among HK$1 million worth of valuables that burglars made off with in three separate cases this week, police say.

The cats, valued at about HK$72,000, were taken from an 11th-floor unit in Wah Yuen Factory Building on Elm Street, Mong Kok, according to police.

They were found missing when a 36-year-old man went to feed them yesterday morning.

Mong Kok crime-squad officers are investigating the theft. No one has been arrested in connection with the case so far.

On Tuesday night, two apartments in Causeway Bay were also burgled, and almost HK$1 million in cash and valuables taken.

Investigations showed the burglars prised open the front door to both flats while their tenants were out. The flats are about a 10-minute walk apart.

It is not known if the cases are related, but Wan Chai police have assigned the same team of officers to investigate both incidents.

The first break-in, on Tai Hang Road, was discovered at about 10.15pm on Tuesday when a 37-year-old female tenant returned to her 19th-floor home and found the front door open and the flat ransacked.

"An initial investigation showed five watches valued at HK$260,000 and jewellery worth HK$500,000 were stolen, together with HK$100,000 and US$10,000 in cash," a police spokesman said.

About 20 minutes later, another woman, aged 36, also found the front door to her Tung Lo Wan Road apartment prised open. A watch, three items of jewellery and a camera, worth a total of HK$59,000, were taken from the unit, police said.

Yesterday, detectives checked security camera footage in an effort to identify the burglars.

This year's largest single haul in a burglary was HK$8.7 million worth of jewellery and cash taken from the Sai Kung home of a Taiwanese businesswoman on February 16. The valuables included a pair of 5-carat diamond earrings valued at HK$7 million.

Despite the recent cases, the number of burglaries reported has decreased since 2010. Police figures showed burglary reports fell 15 per cent to 3,573 last year from 4,214 in 2012. There were 4,382 reported burglaries in 2011 and 4,543 in 2010.