Thieves hit Kowloon Tong home as Hong Kong’s upmarket areas see spate of burglaries

Police pore over CCTV after some HK$800,000 worth of watches and jewellery are stolen

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 September, 2016, 5:48pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 September, 2016, 5:48pm

About HK$800,000 worth of jewellery and watches was stolen from a luxury house in Kowloon Tong on Monday night, continuing a spate of high-profile break-ins in the city’s upmarket areas.

Police were alerted to the Kadoorie Avenue property at about 10.30pm when the owner, a 71-year-old retired businessman, returned home to find his house ransacked.

It is understood the burglary occurred after 7pm. A foreign domestic helper, who was in her ground-floor bedroom at the time, was undisturbed.

Police believed the burglar gained access to the backyard of the house by climbing over a metal fence before entering the first-floor master bedroom by breaking open a mosquito mesh.

Cash, jewellery and watches worth HK$480,000 stolen from luxury house in Sha Tin

“A safe was pried open in the bedroom. An initial estimate showed two watches and four diamond rings were stolen along with some jewellery. The haul was worth HK$800,000,” a source with the knowledge of the case said.

It is understood one of the watches was worth HK$300,000.

On Tuesday afternoon, detectives from Kowloon City police district were poring over CCTV footage searching for evidence. Police were yet to make an arrest.

Hong Kong’s upmarket neighbourhoods, including the Kau To Shan area of Sha Tin, The Peak, Shouson Hill, Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay, have been targeted by thieves in recent months.

An estimated HK$655,000 in cash and valuables was stolen from two houses in the Kau To Shan area and the Fairview Park estate in Yuen Long on Sunday night.

On September 5, the Deep Water Bay residence of billionaire American businessman and recipient of the Gold Bauhinia Star medal Jim Thompson was burgled. Twenty-eight items including his Gold Bauhinia Star medal were stolen. A mainland man, 26, was arrested, and the property was recovered.

Thompson, 76, ranked the 43rd richest person in Hong Kong, was on holiday at the time of the burglary. The total value of the items is unknown.

On August 8, in another high-profile case, the Repulse Bay home of Hong Kong’s third richest man, Cheng Yu-tung, was burgled.

Despite the recent spate of break-ins across the city’s expensive residential areas, police figures show reports of burglary declined 4.6 per cent to 1,407 over the first seven months of this year, compared to the same period in 2015.