Hong Kong ‘hole-in-the-wall’ burglars caught red-handed breaking into Hung Hom money exchange shop
Police are investigating if the suspects are linked to similar cases across the city
A three-member “hole-in-the-wall” burglary gang was caught red-handed after two of them broke into a money exchange shop in Hung Hom before dawn on Thursday and set off its security system.
Police said initial investigations showed the gang had tampered with the alarm system installed outside the King Chi Money Exchange, located on the ground floor of Hung Wu Building on Wuhu Street, at about 3am before breaking into the shop.
Two of them entered the building by prising open the rear door while the third man worked as a lookout outside.
“The pair broke a hole in a wall from an adjacent unit to enter the store,” a police source said. It is understood that they entered the adjacent unit through a ventilation duct.
Police were notified by the security company after the security system was activated inside the store.
Officers from the Emergency Unit and Kowloon City patrol sub unit arrived in minutes, blocking all exits of the building.
It is understood that the two burglars fled from the store after they were alerted by the lookout.
The two men were caught while leaving the building and the lookout was also caught in the vicinity.
Police said one of the suspects put up a struggle at the scene.
“After verbal warnings were ignored, police drew out batons to subdue him,” a police spokesman added.
The source believed no valuables were stolen from the money exchange shop, and its safe was left intact.
During the operation, police seized equipment including a crowbar, a saw, a metal rod and a screwdriver at the scene.
Officers believed the gang had closely analysed the shop and planned ahead for their heist.
“It seemed they knew how to get into the premises and which wall to break,” the source said.
He said police were also investigating whether the gang was linked to similar cases across the city.
According to police, the three Hongkongers, aged between 57 and 60, were being held for questioning and none of them had been charged.
Officers from the Kowloon West regional crime unit are investigating.
Police figures showed reports of burglary declined by 4.6 per cent to 1,407 in the first seven months of this year, compared to 1,475 in the same period last year.