Three burglars escaped with only a watch after being caught red-handed by the occupants of a flat in Central.
The couple returned to the Pottinger Street unit at about 2.15am yesterday to find a woman apparently keeping watch on the first-floor staircase and two men ransacking the flat.
"Upon seeing the couple return, [the lookout] immediately shouted in an apparent move to signal to her partners upstairs," a police officer said. The couple ignored the woman and went upstairs.
"After entering their fifth-floor flat, the couple found two male burglars were ransacking the living room," the officer said.
"They tried to stop the two raiders from escaping but failed."
The burglars ran out of the flat with the watch, valued at about HK$38,000, and fled downstairs. The man gave chase and saw one of the men jump into a taxi to escape.
The couple were uninjured.
Officers found a crowbar and a torch in a recycling bag that the burglars left behind on the stairs of the building.
They mounted a search but made no arrests.
Officers are searching for three Chinese in connection with the raid on the flat in Wah Wing House. The woman, who was wearing a black shirt and a green skirt, is thought to be aged about 30 and is about 1.75 metres tall with a thin build. The two men are aged between 30 and 40 and are about 1.7 metres tall.
Police are also trying to contact the occupants of another fifth-floor flat. Marks on the front door of the apartment suggested that someone had tried to prise it open.
In a separate incident, a restaurant at Butterfly Estate in Tuen Mun was burgled and HK$20,000 in cash was stolen together with the hard drive of the closed-circuit TV system.
The break-in was discovered by an employee arriving for work at about 4.30am yesterday.
The number of burglaries reported in Hong Kong has decreased since 2010. Reported burglaries fell 15 per cent to 3,573 last year from 4,214 in 2012. There were 4,382 reported burglaries in 2011 and 4,543 in 2010.