New World Development

Billionaire tycoon the latest target in spate of high-profile Hong Kong break-ins

Tycoon Cheng Yu-tung’s residence was on same road as apartment of expat banker who subdued alleged burglar during separate incident on same morning

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 August, 2016, 10:47am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2016, 11:47am

The luxury home of Hong Kong’s third richest man, Cheng Yu-tung, was burgled early Monday in what was a string of high-profile break-ins in the area.

Police were called to Cheng’s residence at 12 Repulse Bay Road just after 6am yesterday after a female house worker detected signs of ransacking.

It is understood the 90-year-old Cheng, founder of real estate investment firm New World Development and jewellery chain Chow Tai Fook, was not home at the time of the burglary.

Another burglary in Hong Kong’s most expensive residential district The Peak despite major anti-crime operation in May

Cheng’s eldest son and chairman of New World Development Cheng Kar-shun said his family members were unharmed.

“My family members were at home, but all the bedrooms were locked, so he couldn’t enter,” he said, adding that a small quantity of gold items was stolen and that security around the home would be increased.

The burglar drew out a fruit knife and threatened him with the weapon
Hong Kong police source

Police sources confirmed that four to five 15cm-tall gold statues were stolen from an [unoccupied] guest room with the value of the items yet to be established.

Officers believe at least one burglar scaled the surrounding wall of the property shortly after midnight and broke in through the rear door of the house.

Police launched a massive manhunt of the area using tracking dogs following the Cheng residence break-in. No arrests have yet been made.

Cheng was ranked the third richest person in Hong Kong and 58th in the world by Forbes with a net worth of US$16.5 billion.

The burglary at the Cheng residence was reported just hours after a British man, Giles Scott, 53, subdued an armed burglar in separate incident just 1.5km away at 69 Repulse Bay Road.

Police allege that the suspect climbed up drainpipes and onto the balcony of Scott’s third-floor apartment.

“The tenant woke up to find the thief who was ransacking his bedrooms. The burglar drew out a fruit knife and threatened him with the weapon,” a source said. “The tenant disarmed and subdued the man during a struggle.”

Police arrested a 36-year-old man from Sichuan Province upon arrival at the scene.

The Briton’s arm was hurt while the suspect suffered head injuries during the incident. Both men were taken to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai for treatment.

Scott is understood to be head of investments at a bank in the city. When asked if Scott was an employee of HSBC, a spokesperson from the bank declined to comment.

Following the two burglaries, police said additional patrols and surveillance would be deployed around the Repulse Bay area.

“If necessary, a government helicopter will be deployed to carry out an aerial surveillance,” one source said.

Despite the recent break-ins, police figures show burglary reports fell six per cent to 1,206 in the first six months of this year.