Man arrested after climbing a drainpipe to his 12th-storey flat

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 November, 2009, 12:00am

A 39-year-old man who climbed up a drainpipe from the ground to his 12th floor flat in Tseung Kwan O yesterday morning told police that he had forgotten his key.

But officers wondered whether he had another motive and arrested him for criminal damage, after neighbours complained that the sensor of a burglar alarm and a laundry rack had been damaged.

A security guard called police after seeing the man hanging on to a drainpipe between the third and fourth floors of Choi Kwai House, at Choi Ming Court, shortly before 9am.

Residents said they were shocked when they saw the man climb up the building.

'The security guard shouted at him. He ignored him and continued climbing up. It's very dangerous. We were worried that he might fall down,' a housewife said. 'He was wearing a pair of slippers. He slipped in the middle of his journey and then continued climbing up.'

She said some residents tried to persuade the man to stop climbing and asked him to enter the building, but he ignored them.

Within a few minutes, the man had reached the 12th floor and climbed into his flat through an open window.

Police found the man safe inside and confirmed that he was one of the tenants in the 12th-floor flat.

As police searched along his climbing route, a resident complained that a burglar alarm sensor outside his flat had been damaged, and another neighbour told officers that an outdoor rack for drying clothes had been damaged. Police arrested the man on suspicion of criminal damage and took him to Tseung Kwan O police station for questioning. An officer involved in the case said the suspect was a drug addict.

The officer said there had been a break-in in a flat at another block on the same estate recently. 'So we have asked criminal investigation detectives to make a thorough probe,' he said.

The man was being held for questioning last night and no charges had been laid.

On November 1, a 36-year-old expatriate man fell to his death while trying to climb from the roof of his building in Tsuen Wan into his flat after forgetting his key. Michael Boyd was found dead on the podium of tower three of The Cairnhill on Route Twisk at 4am.