DNA evidence gathered from cigarette butts has led to the arrest of a suspected thief in Pat Heung, three months after the crime.
The 35-year-old was picked up at his village house on Kam Po Road yesterday on suspicion of stealing 1.5km of cable worth HK$250,000, police said.
The cable was stolen from a duct under the Tsing Yi Road West flyover outside Cheung Hong Estate in Tsing Yi.
The Kwai Tsing district crime squad had been investigating the theft since March 3.
"Because of the weight of the cable, we believe three or four robbers were involved and a delivery van was used," a police officer said.
Police seized discarded cigarette butts outside and inside the duct. "We believe the butts were left behind by the thieves. They were then taken for a DNA test," the officer said.
The results of the test arrived recently and checks against the police database linked the man to the crime scene.
Officers raided the suspect's home last week, but he was not there.
The cable has not been recovered. Police suspect it has already been smuggled out of the city.
Last night, the arrested man was being questioned at Kwai Chung police station. He had not been charged.
Officers are still looking for others involved.
Reports of theft dropped to 9,496 in the first four months of this year from 10,145 in the same period last year.