Lookout in raid sent to detention centre

A LOOKOUT in a jewellery company burglary, who was arrested before his accomplices managed to prise open a safe, was sent to a detention centre yesterday.

Decorator Lei Hong-kit, 22, had earlier pleaded guilty in the District Court to burglary.

Deputy Judge Leung heard that robbers raided the Sunlight Jewellery Company in a Hunghom industrial centre and made off with $6,000 in cash and more than $65,000 worth of gold ornaments last June 11.

Prosecutor Miss Lily Yew said police went to the scene after a security company reported that burglar alarms were going off at the jewellery company.

A plain-clothes officer saw Lei holding a portable phone and with something tucked in his belt.

The officer tried to search Lei, who put up a struggle. He was finally subdued with the help of two more officers. Two other men escaped.

Police found Lei in possession of a screwdriver, two pairs of gloves and a scanner which was used to monitor police radio messages.

Under caution, he said he was told by a man known as Ah Lung to stay outside as a lookout.

It was believed the culprits were in the process of prising open a two-metre high safe, but were interrupted by the police.

Although the company found gold ornaments and cash were stolen, nothing was taken from the safe.

Defence counsel Mr Geoffrey Booth said Lei, who owed $20,000 to Ah Lung, was asked to act as a lookout in a bid to repay his gambling debt.

He said his client was of previous good character and he urged the court to consider his guilty plea and remorse.