Millions stolen with 46 burglary reports across Hong Kong during the Christmas season

Among the victims is top lawyer Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 1:44pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 11:30pm

A string of festive season burglaries – including a break-in at the home of a top lawyer – has seen millions of dollars worth of cash and valuables stolen from properties across the city.

Between Christmas Day and yesterday, 46 people called the police to report burglaries at their homes.

Among the victims was prominent senior counsel Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, whose home in Castle Peak, Tuen Mun, was raided and cash and valuables worth an estimated HK$3 million were stolen.

Cheng, 58, who heads the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, holds the city’s top civic honour – the Gold Bauhinia Star. She was reportedly hosting a Christmas Day party when thieves entered her home.

On the same day, an estimated HK$13,000 in cash and golden coins were also stolen from the property next door, which is reportedly worth HK$27 million and owned by Otto Poon Lok-to, former chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers.

A number of villagers in the New Territories also had their homes ransacked over the holidays.

Jewellery worth HK$500,000 was stolen from a Ha Mei Sun village house in Yuen Long on Christmas night.

Three houses in Sheung Shui were also broken into late on Monday, with the loss of cash and jewellery valued at HK$120,000.

High-end household burglaries involving more than HK$500,000 jumped 50 per cent year-on-year during the first ten months this year.

The increase prompted police to call for closer cooperation with mainland counterparts to crack down on cross-border criminals.

The rise came despite an overall 7.2 per cent decline in the number of break-ins across the city over the same period.

No arrests have been made in connection with the series of festive break-ins.

Last year, at least 39 burglaries were reported during the Christmas holiday, slightly down from 44 in 2014, according to police figures.

Although the numbers are not exhaustive, holiday figures are still higher compared with an average of 8.8 cases per day this year using the available data.

Additional reporting by Christy Leung