Hong Kong police step up patrols after latest high-profile burglary at luxury home of musician Zou Lunlun

Officers find safe from flat of founder of arts academy on a nearby hillside, but no arrests are made

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 June, 2017, 1:59pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 June, 2017, 11:28pm

In Hong Kong’s latest high-profile burglary, thieves broke into the Repulse Bay home of Chinese stringed instrument master Zou Lunlun, prompting police to step up patrols in the upmarket area.

The break-in at the South Bay Palace flat of the guzheng great happened on Thursday night, just hours after Zou and her family members left Hong Kong, the Post has learned.

Patrolling officers found a wide open safe abandoned on a hillside behind the building off South Bay Close shortly after 1.30am on Friday.

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

Empty jewellery cases and travel documents were scattered near the safe. Investigations led officers to Zou’s home.

“At this stage, it is not known what was stolen as the tenant and her family were out of town,” a police source said.

Zou and her family, who are on an overseas trip, are understood to be returning to the city next week.

“Initial investigations showed burglars climbed into her apartment by prising open a living room window. We believe they struck before midnight,” the source said.

He said they left via the same route and took a safe out of the flat, which they broke open on the hillside.

Following the incident, the source said police would enhance patrols and mount special operations in the area.

Zou is the founder of the International Academy for Musical Arts in Hong Kong and has taught the guzheng for 20 years.

According to her Facebook page, she has travelled around the world to perform in Vienna, Sydney, Frankfurt and San Francisco and played for celebrities and politicians including former president Jiang Zemin and former Australian prime minister John Howard.

Detectives from Western police station were poring over security footage on Friday morning in an effort to identify the culprits. So far, no one has been arrested.

Home burglaries on Hong Kong’s richest up more than 70 per cent

Hong Kong’s expensive residential areas, including The Peak, Shouson Hill, Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay and Kowloon Tong, were targeted last year, resulting in a 70 per cent surge in the number of high-end household burglaries in the city.

Figures showed burglaries in Hong Kong totalling more than HK$500,000 per case climbed from 31 cases in 2015 to 54 last year

Cases tailed off this year after police arrested at least two gangs of mainland men. Some of the suspects were said to belong to a notorious village gang in southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, where most villagers are surnamed Wei.

Latest police figures show there were 678 reports of burglary across the city in the first four months of this year, a 16.9 per cent drop compared with 816 cases in the same period of last year.