Hu Yaobang

HK$2.3 million in cash and valuables stolen from home of late Chinese leader Hu Yaobang’s granddaughter

Break-in is latest in spate of high-profile burglaries in Hong Kong’s wealthiest residential areas

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 November, 2016, 3:20pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 November, 2016, 11:24pm

The granddaughter of late Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang, whose death in 1989 sparked the Tiananmen pro-democracy protest, has become the latest victim in a spate of high-profile burglaries across Hong Kong.

It was revealed yesterday that about HK$2.3 million in cash and valuables was stolen from her third-floor flat in Sea Cliff Mansions on Repulse Bay Road. The break-in came to light when Hu Zhizhi, 43, and her family, who had been out of town since Saturday, returned to the city on Thursday afternoon.

Hu, who is a housewife, called police shortly before 7pm after she found her master bedroom had been ransacked. It is understood the bedroom had been locked when she left for her trip.

“Inside the bedroom, some drawers had been pried open. More than HK$1.3 million in local and foreign currency was stolen along with five luxury watches,” a police source said.

The family’s domestic helper, 32, was at home but told police she did not notice anything suspicious.

“Officers believe the burglar climbed up the building along drainpipes and entered the flat by prying open the ventilation window of the bedroom’s bathroom,” the source said.

A section of metal fence had been cut on the hillside behind the private housing estate, according to police.

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Yesterday morning, detectives were poring over closed circuit television footage, looking to identify the burglar and find out when the break-in happened.

The Western district crime squad is investigating. No one has been arrested so far.

Public records show the flat was bought by Hu, a permanent Hong Kong identity card holder, and her husband, Cao Shaoshan, in 2007 for HK$22.88 million.

Hong Kong’s expensive residential areas, including The Peak, Shouson Hill, Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay and Kowloon Tong have been targeted by burglars in recent months.

On October 4, the Tai Tam house of Hong Kong stock exchange boss Charles Li Xiaojia was burgled and about 20 watches and jewellery worth about HK$850,000 were stolen from a safe.

On September 5, the Deep Water Bay home of billionaire American businessman Jim Thompson was burgled. More than 20 items including his Gold Bauhinia medal were stolen. A mainland man was arrested and the loot recovered.

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On August 27, the Repulse Bay home of Angela Leong On-kei, the fourth wife of casino mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun, was burgled while she was out of town. The house was under renovation and no valuables were stolen.

On August 8, several gold statues were stolen in a break-in at the Repulse Bay Road home of late tycoon Cheng Yu-tung.

Despite these high-profile break-ins, police figures show burglary reports dropped 4.6 per cent to 1,407 in the first seven months of this year, compared with 1,475 in the same period last year.