Thieves make off with HK$200,000 of cash and valuables from luxury Hong Kong home

The incident at Villa Cecil was the second burglary in the upmarket development in nine months

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 November, 2016, 4:49pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 November, 2016, 10:16pm

Villa Cecil – owned by Hong Kong tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung – was targeted by burglars for the second time in nine months, as more than HK$200,000 in cash and jewellery was stolen from a luxury apartment in one of the blocks.

The latest break-in came to light when Chao’s neighbour, surnamed Wong, returned home on the first floor of Tower One at Villa Cecil Phase 2 on Victoria Road, Western at about 10.30pm on Sunday.

“The playroom’s window was pried open and the master bedroom was ransacked,” a police source said.

Officers were called in after receiving a report from the woman, 41, at about 11pm on Sunday.

“Initial investigation shows two watches and two necklaces were stolen along with some cash from drawers. The haul is worth about HK$211,000,” the source said.

Police believe the break-in happened between 1pm and 10.30pm on Sunday because the woman and her family were out at the time.

Officers mounted a search but no arrests were made. Officers from the Western police district are investigating.

In February, another flat in the villa was burgled and its female tenant, 36, lost HK$15,000 in cash and valuables.

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

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

Last week, the granddaughter of late Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang, whose death in 1989 sparked the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, became the latest victim when her Repulse Bay apartment was burgled and HK$2.3 million in cash and valuables was taken.

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 stolen items were recovered.

Police figures showed that reports of burglary declined by 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.

In October 2014, Chao, the founder and chairman of property developer Cheuk Nang Holdings, also fell victim to a spate of high-profile break-ins when his mansion in the villa was burgled. Antiques, watches and jewellery valued at HK$10 million were stolen from a safe hidden in a bathroom.

A senior police officer said police would enhance patrol in the area following the break-in.