Hong Kong police face problems in manhunt for two men who robbed hikers along nature trail

Police say search for culprits is difficult because the Eagle’s Nest area is large and they could be hiding anywhere

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 December, 2016, 4:39pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 December, 2016, 8:11pm

Over 100 police officers have been mobilised in a continuing manhunt for two men suspected to have robbed hikers, the police said on Wednesday.

The two men, who spoke Putonghua, were believed to have committed the robberies along Eagle’s Nest nature trail above Cheung Sha Wan on Tuesday.

The suspects in their 40s wielded fruit knives when they robbed cash and mobile phones from a woman and a family of four at two different locations along the trail.

“We have conducted searches yesterday and also today, but so far no suspected hiding places have been found in the area,” a police spokesman said.

He said it was uncertain whether the robbers were operating in a group, but he said both cases were very similar.

The manhunt was difficult as the hill was large and so the two suspects could be hiding anywhere, the police said. No hikers were previously robbed on the Eagle’s Nest trail in the past year.

But the force believed the two robberies should not be related to a string of burglaries over Christmas.

The first robbery took place at 12.15pm on Tuesday, when a man wearing a dark jacket and long trousers threatened a 66-year-old lone hiker with a 20cm knife and robbed her of a cellphone worth HK$1,500, a HK$600 watch and money.

She sustained injuries to her fingers.

Just 25 minutes later a woman, 45, and her three children aged seven to 19 were robbed of two phones, HK$1,300 in cash and a gold necklace worth about HK$2,000 by a man described as being about 40 and holding a 15cm knife. He was wearing a white shirt, dark-coloured long trousers and a cap.

The two incidents did not deter people from hiking on Wednesday.

“I knew about the robberies but I am not afraid. I am not hiking by myself and I brought an umbrella just in case anything happens so I can protect myself,” a 60-year-old hiker said.

Another said he also knew about the robberies but said:”I don’t think the robbers dare to mess with me.”

The trail, which begins and ends on Tai Po Road, is located inside Lion Rock country park. It is popular with hikers because it offers fine views of Kowloon reservoir, which was completed in 1910 and was the first water storage facility to serve Kowloon.