Burglars escaped yesterday with more than HK$2 million in antiques and jade and ivory carvings from a luxury home doors from the Peak property of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
The break-in at the home of interior designer Chan Chun-ho at 7 Peel Rise - the second such case in the Peak area in four months - has prompted police to step up patrols on the exclusive district.
"Camouflage officers from the rural patrol unit will be deployed to carry out surveillance, especially at night," a police source said. "We will also increase patrols by uniformed and plainclothes officers."
Yesterday's burglary happened about three weeks after the chief executive and his wife moved into Government House from his home at 4 Peel Rise and the police post outside was removed. Leung's house is about 250 metres from the three-storey house that was broken into.
Police were called in at about 7.15am after Chan, 61, who runs a design business in Central, awoke to find the first-floor living area ransacked and more than 30 displays missing.
"The items include antiques, such as ceramic bowls, dishes and sculptures … [as well as] jade and ivory carvings. The haul is estimated to be worth more than HK$2 million," a police officer said. "Burglars also searched one of the bedrooms on the second floor and stole HK$100,000 in cash from a drawer."
Other stolen items included an iPad, a laptop and a watch.
The officer said Chan, in the master bedroom, and his three domestic helpers on the ground floor were undisturbed during the raid. The designer's wife and two sons were out of town.
Initial investigations indicated that raiders climbed onto the first-floor balcony and prised open the sliding glass door to gain access to the living room, police said.
It is understood the house, which cost about HK$50 million when it was bought in 2007, did not have a burglar-alarm system.
Detectives say the raid took place between midnight and 6am. "We believe at least two burglars were needed to remove the 30 items," a police investigator said. "They probably fled in a getaway vehicle."
Officers are checking security camera footage to trace the culprits and their escape route.
Detectives are also investigating whether the burglary was linked to an unsolved case in which the Middle Gap Road house of Kwek Leng-hai, president and chief executive of the listed Guoco Group, was burgled in July.