FIVE Vietnamese who stole 10 eggs worth $8 from a Lantau stone hut were yesterday each jailed for four years by the High Court. The five men, who sneaked out of the Tai A Chau detention centre and made off in two home-made rafts on January 9 last year, were tracked down and arrested after a huge search. The men claimed they were driven by hunger to take the eggs. Mao Ky Khoang, 20, Ngo Chanh Kiet, 18, Tran Van Hung, 30, Lau Vinh, 17, and Thong Suong Cau, 27, had earlier pleaded guilty to a joint count of robbery. They were each jailed for one year for a joint charge of burglary which they admitted. The sentence is to run concurrently with the four-year prison term. Deputy Judge Yam told the men they should not be under the impression that they were being punished for stealing 10 eggs. While accepting that little of value had been taken, he said the offence was serious because a knife was used to make threats. Defence counsel for Mao and Tran, Barry Sceats, said the five men left the detention centre for Lantau Island and hoped to find work at the Chek Lap Kok airport project. Mr Sceats said the men were driven by hunger to steal the eggs. Michael Poll, represented Ngo, and Denis Law appeared for Lau and Thong. Senior Assistant Crown Prosecutor Peter Chapman said that on the evening of January 9 last year the men left the camp and rowed to Lantau in two home-made rafts. After spending a night on a hillside, they broke into and ransacked the Shek Pik office of the Water Supplies Department. The court heard that the egg robbery took place at about 7.10 pm three days later. An 11-year-old boy, Chan Sang-chau, was watching television at home when he was grabbed and lifted into the air by a young man who threatened him with a knife. The boy was bound and gagged before more men entered the house. Sang-chau's married sister, Chan Tung-heung, was also overpowered and pulled into the house when she came to visit. At the same time, two villagers in the next hut were threatened with choppers by members of the gang, one of whom was seen holding what appeared to be a pistol. However, after Ms Chan was taken home to get money, she called on other villagers to report the matter to police. The gang fled with the eggs. The five were were found hiding behind a rock at Lo Kei Wan soon after midnight. A chopper, a knife and a toy gun were found.