Bungling pair caught on double-decker bus

Suspected burglars fled The Peak on public transport. Police are investigating whether they are linked to spate of burglaries in area

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 July, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 July, 2014, 4:02am

Two suspected burglars were arrested as they attempted to escape on a double-decker bus after a bungled dinner-time raid on a luxury home on The Peak.

The men, who had not been charged as of last night, were arrested at a police roadblock on Thursday night amid a spate of break-ins at luxury homes in the exclusive area, most of them at dinner time. Detectives are investigating whether the duo, cousins who arrived from the mainland on Monday, were hired to carry out the break-in and whether they are linked to other raids.

Between June 1 and July 10, 27 homes were targeted by burglars along an 8km stretch of Clear Water Bay Road, with a total of HK$2.6 million in cash and valuables stolen. Police suspect the burglars may have switched their focus to The Peak after measures were put in place to counter break-ins in Clear Water Bay.

"Burglars might have knowledge of our enhanced enforcement actions and trained their sights on The Peak or other areas," one police source said.

He said it was possible they were hired from the mainland. "They probably had assistance from people in Hong Kong who helped them find targets and did preparation work," he said.

At least six luxury houses on The Peak - five on Mount Kellett Road - have been targeted since Sunday. Three of the burglaries occurred between 7pm and 8pm, including the botched break-in and another two days ago.

Police said that on Thursday, two men broke into a four-storey house at La Hacienda on Mount Kellett Road shortly before 8pm as a woman, 54, was dining at home. She is a relative of the owner, a businessman from Nanjing , who was out of town.

Police said a domestic helper was grabbed by the burglars when she went to investigate noise in a third-floor bedroom.

"One of them covered her mouth with his hand to stop her shouting and the other pointed a crowbar at her," a police spokesman said. "They pushed her onto a bed and climbed out of a window to escape when the [owner's relative] entered the room to check." No one was injured and no property was stolen.

Police set up a road block on Peak Road and arrested the men, aged 27 and 31, on a Central-bound double-decker bus at about 8.30pm. Officers seized wet clothes, a crowbar and gloves from their backpacks.

On Sunday, in the same estate, the home of businessman Kennedy Wong Wing-ho, 51, was burgled and HK$3 million in cash and jewellery was stolen while the residents were out for dinner.

Another police source said CCTV showed at least two gangs were involved in the Clear Water Bay break-ins. The source said one of the gangs stole more than HK$1.5 million in cash and valuables from 18 of the 27 houses. So far, no arrests have been made.