Jewellery, watches and other valuables worth about HK$2 million were stolen from two houses in Fanling and Tai Po on Thursday afternoon while the properties were unoccupied. Police were called to a three-storey house on the Ma Mei Ha section of Sha Tau Kok Road, Fanling, at about 10.15pm on Thursday when its 41-year-old female owner returned home and found it had been ransacked. Seven watches, including Rolex and Cartier models, and a quantity of diamonds were stolen from the second-floor master bedroom. A police spokeswoman said the items taken were worth about HK$1.6 million. About 15 minutes later, police received a report of another burglary in Lam Tsuen San Tsuen on Lam Kam Road, Tai Po. In this case, valuables had been locked in a safe in a wardrobe, but the whole safe was removed. Inside were a luxury watch, jewellery, gold ornaments, a camera and some cash valued at about HK$400,000. In both cases, the intruders forced windows before climbing into the houses, police said. The two homeowners told police that they went out around midday and the break-ins were discovered when they returned home at night. In an effort to track down the thieves, police collected evidence, including fingerprints left at the scene, and they also checked whether surveillance cameras in the area had captured any images of the robbers. Detectives from Tai Po police station are investigating whether the two cases are linked. So far, no one has been arrested. Police said it was possible the two burglaries happened in the afternoon when no one was in the houses. "Some burglars carry out raids in broad daylight, when residents go to work or go shopping," a police officer said. "They may pose as delivery workers to check their targeted house or apartment and scout out the area before they strike." The officer urged the public to avoid keeping a lot of valuables and cash at home. "If necessary, they should use a high-quality safe to store valuables," he said. According to the police website, about HK$400 million worth of property is stolen in burglaries each year. Police figures show there were 860 reports of burglaries in the first three months of this year.