Scaffolding stand-off ends with man's arrest

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 3:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 3:30am

A suspected burglar refused to move from bamboo scaffolding during a six-hour stand-off with police at a block of luxury flats in Happy Valley.

When the 52-year-old Hong Kong resident was eventually arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning, police seized 30 watches and about 50 gold coins from his backpack, along with tools including a saw and a spanner. The value of the goods had not been determined.

Police are trying to trace the owners of the recovered items.

"We believe the watches and gold coins are stolen property," a police officer said, adding that investigations were continuing.

The drama began at 9.15pm on Monday, when a woman returned to her 11th-floor flat in Ventris Road to find a living room window pried open and a bedroom locked from the inside.

Police arrived and broke into the bedroom. Nobody was inside, but a watch had been stolen.

While searching the area, officers spotted a man attempting to escape by clambering down the bamboo scaffolding.

When he refused to come down, police negotiators and firefighters were called in.

After a six-hour stand-off, he relented and returned to the building, where he was arrested shortly after 3am. The man was being questioned last night and no charges had been laid.

Police are trying to track the owners of the items the man was found with, and asked anyone with information to call 3660 7545 or 3660 7546.

In a separate incident, police arrested two male visitors from the mainland in Sir Cecil's Ride near Jardine's Lookout on Monday after seizing burglary equipment from their backpacks.

The two men, aged 30 and 36, were seen acting suspiciously on Mount Butler Road at about 2.15pm. They tried to escape but were arrested after a brief chase.

Despite a series of high-profile burglaries at luxury flats in recent months, the overall number of cases has declined since 2010. There were 3,573 burglaries last year, down 15 per cent on 2012.