HIGH-ranking members of the judiciary have fallen victim to a team of sophisticated mainland thieves who are targeting The Peak in a pre-Christmas burglary spree. At least 13 wealthy occupants of Hong Kong's 'millionaires row' have fallen prey to the gangs in the past three months, prompting increased security and more police patrols in the area. Guards at the plush government quarters in Barker Road have been told to be extra vigilant after a break-in two weeks ago at the home of Chan Yuet-ho, a senior legal adviser to the Police Complaints Committee, reaped a $100,000 watch, $700 in cash and a mini-disc player. Ms Chan and her husband live on the second floor of the Government's Victoria Apartments, which share a driveway with Victoria House, residence of Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang. Ms Chan was not in the flat at the time of the raid but her husband, a barrister, was asleep in the bedroom. 'Security at the apartments was very tight last year but recently this has been revised,' Ms Chan said. 'We lost the security post a few days before the burglary and we now only have one guard; before we had two.' A spokesman for Colliers Jardine, the company responsible for security, refused to comment. But a source at the Government Properties Agency confirmed security at the apartments had been tightened. Another victim of the spree is High Court judge Mr Justice Gall, whose home in Lloyd Path was burgled about a month ago. He said the burglars were able to break into his house, despite 'excellent security', and took various items including $1,000 in cash. But the gangs are not only after big-time hauls . . . the raiders at Mr Justice Gall's home also took an apple and a banana. Two weeks ago, a resident of Clovelly Court returned to the luxurious 40 storey twin-tower building after a night out to find his flat ransacked and more than $2 million in cash and valuables stolen. The manager at Clovelly Court, where prices for the 120 flats range from $15 million to $28 million, would say little about the break-in. 'We have had a briefing on the incident and we are not authorised to say anymore,' he explained. But detectives believe the approaching Christmas and Lunar New Year holidays have prompted mainland thieves to cross the border to raid Hong Kong's rich. The burglars stake out target houses during the day and try to establish whether a security system is installed. If they believe security is lax, they break in after dark. 'We have been notified by residents and our own officers on patrol in the area that mainland Chinese have been spotted on The Peak,' said a police source. 'We believe they are the same people carrying out these burglaries. 'The usual method is to climb onto the balcony at the back of the house and then smash their way in, steal as much as they can and disappear into the night.' The source said one mainlander had been arrested since the start of September but added it was 'virtually impossible' to trace the burglars back to the mainland. He urged residents to contact the police if they saw anything suspicious but warned against confrontation with the gangs. A spokeswoman for the Police Public Relations Branch said six burglaries were reported in September, five in October, one in November and one in December. The Peak was targeted again yesterday when two men, armed with a razor and a brick, attacked a 63-year-old male cleaning worker at the Peak tram station near Garden Road. The two, who hold Hong Kong resident cards, smashed a glass charity box for the Community Chest at the station but were arrested by police nearby. The cleaner was taken to Queen Mary Hospital with head injuries. Meanwhile, in true Hong Kong fashion, one local security company has already spotted a new market for its services. Jardine Securicor is set to launch an innovative new protection scheme using former Gurkha soldiers. Twenty of them have already found jobs with the company as guards at specific properties and estates on The Peak and at least 95 more are working in security roles in other areas of Hong Kong. Jardine Securicor security services manager Jonathan Tedd said the Gurkhas were ideal for handling the robber gangs. 'It was our intention to start this scheme last year but because of our commitment to static sites, we were unable to,' he said. 'People on The Peak are aware of these increased raids by mainland gangs and now seems the perfect time.' to introduce it.'