Hong Kong police arrest two mainland Chinese burglary suspects outside luxury home

Neither man had valid travel documents and one was carrying gloves and pliers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 6:16pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 10:31pm

Hong Kong police have arrested two men from mainland China suspected of carrying out a series of burglaries in the city.

The pair, aged 25 and 27, were intercepted outside 397 Clear Water Bay Road, Sai Kung, at around 7.30am on Sunday during an operation codenamed Hillcastle.

“Officers found a pair of gloves and pliers on the 27-year-old man. The duo failed to show any valid documents for identification,” a police spokesman said.

They were arrested for illegal entry into Hong Kong and possession of an instrument fit for an unlawful purpose.

A police source close to the matter said there was a good chance the pair were planning a break-in at the time they were picked up as the luxury homes along Clear Water Bay Road are a magnet for burglars.

“We are also probing if the two suspects were linked to a recent series of burglaries in Hong Kong.”

High-end household burglaries involving losses of more than HK$500,000 a time surged by more than 70 per cent last year to 54 cases.

Police commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung said earlier this year that many mainland burglars returned home after successful break-ins and may have brought accomplices on their next run.

He said half the cases involved owners who were away on long holidays and had not properly secured their homes.

On April 7, police raided two hotel rooms in Tin Shui Wai before dawn to arrest three mainlanders suspected of being burglars hired to break into luxury Hong Kong homes.

Inside the hotel rooms, officers seized about HK$110,000 in local and foreign currency and more than HK$300,000 worth of watches, gold ornaments and other valuables. The goods were believed to have been stolen from two separate premises earlier this month.

In February, four men from Guangxi and thought to be behind a series of burglaries across the city, were arrested when they attempted to burgle a house in Tseung Kwan O.

In January, an elite police unit was deployed to arrest three suspected burglars at a Pat Heung village house. About HK$5 million in cash, jewellery and valuables was recovered in the raid. Two of the three men were from Guangxi.