Macau is a haven for gamblers, tourists and food and wine experts. But for teenagers, there's only so much you can do within the 27-square-kilometre enclave. When life in Macau appears mundane, Macau youths bring their families and Hong Kong friends across the border to Zhuhai. Just across the Border Gate, there is a huge shopping mall, where there are plenty of counterfeit DVDs, CDs, brand-name handbags and other fashion accessories. This may be just the place for teenagers on a tight budget, but shopping in Zhuhai is not without risk. After all, buying fake items is illegal and subject to heavy fines. But Form Three student Polly Lam, who visits Zhuhai with her family about 10 times a year, is not concerned. 'Nobody ever checks our bags,' said the student from Sacred Heart Canossian College (English Section). Even a Portuguese lawyer, who drives a BMW, enjoys shopping in Zhuhai. 'I buy all my socks in this shopping mall,' he said. 'They're only seven renminbi [HK$6.50] a pair and they carry any brand-name logo you can think of.' Although bargain hunters are not deterred by customs officers, pickpockets and robbers pose a serious danger. Ironically, some of the criminals are teenagers. In nearby Gongbei district this summer, dozens of students from Macau and Zhuhai reported that their mobile phones and cash were forcibly taken by youngsters. In late July, a joint operation involving Macau and Zhuhai police led to the arrest of seven youths aged between 13 and 19, who were allegedly part of a gang that targeted teenagers. The suspects - two girls and two boys from Macau and three girls from Zhuhai - first met at a Gongbei disco, investigations revealed. They would threaten the shoppers first before taking them to a lonely place and robbing them. Macau youths still need to be vigilant when they go to the mainland. 'We stay close together, staying alert to who's behind us,' Celia Ngou, Polly's classmate, said. 'We always leave our valuables at home.'