A mainlander who used a miniature closed-circuit television set to monitor two houses in Sai Kung before burgling them was jailed for six years yesterday.
Sentencing Feng Xiaoyong, 38, a Court of First Instance judge said this was the first she had heard of such equipment being used by burglars. If it happened again it would be treated as an aggravating factor with a longer sentence, she said.
Feng had pleaded guilty before Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping to one charge of burglary and one of aggravated burglary. The court heard that after breaking into one house in Tai Mong Tsai Road on October 3 last year and taking valuables worth about HK$14,500, he entered another nearby. There he threatened a maid with a fruit knife before apologising, tying her up with tape, and fleeing without taking anything.
He told the police that he and an accomplice had monitored the area for three to four days, using the CCTV set to check when people left home.
"It's the first time I have seen people using such equipment [to commit burglaries]," Toh said. "If such equipment is ever used again, I would consider it as an aggravating factor and impose a higher sentence."
Feng was sentenced to 2 years and nine months' jail for the first burglary and four years for the second, with part of the sentences to run concurrently.
Prosecutor Bobby Cheung Man-kwan said the first victim returned home at 9am on October 3 to find her house ransacked and called police. The second burglary occurred about 10 minutes later. Police saw Feng and another man at a bus stop. They arrested Feng but the accomplice fled.
The missing property was recovered from Feng, along with a CCTV set comprising two wireless digital cameras and a hand-held receiver.