image image

Crime in Hong Kong

Three Hong Kong schoolgirls, aged 10 to 12, arrested for allegedly stealing HK$5 million in diamond jewellery

Victim, 39, who works in investment firm, found two necklaces and bracelet missing from handbag in public housing flat

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 May, 2018, 8:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 11:02pm

Three primary school girls were arrested in connection with the alleged theft of HK$5 million (US$641,000) worth of jewellery, police confirmed on Wednesday morning.

The victim, a 39-year-old woman who lives with one of the girls, 10, and her father at a public housing flat in Wong Tai Sin, realised two diamond necklaces and a diamond bracelet had disappeared from her handbag some time in the past month, according to a police source.

The woman, who works at an investment company, called police at about 11pm on Monday. 

Officers detained the girl on Tuesday, believing she was involved in the theft. She told investigators she had dumped the jewellery nearby. Officers searched the area, but to no avail.

The girl had lived alone with her divorced father, a hairstylist, until the woman moved into the flat in Lung Moon House in Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate in January. The girl was said to have taken a dislike to the woman, and they often clashed.

According to a police source, the father said the woman was his friend and was living with them temporarily because of family issues.

HK$200,000 burglary the latest to hit Hong Kong’s Happy Valley

Later the same day, officers also detained the girl’s 12-year-old schoolmate, to whom the girl said she had handed the jewellery. The older girl denied the allegation.

A search of the second girl’s home found nothing.

The source said officers had also conducted a search for the jewellery at the girls’ school on Wednesday but found nothing. In the latest version of 10-year-old’s statement, she said she had dropped the valuables somewhere on the streets.

As of Wednesday night, police were still looking for the pieces. 

In the early hours of Wednesday, police said a third girl, 12, had been taken into custody in connection with the case, after the 10-year-old told officers the jewellery had been given to her. The third girl denied the allegation.

She was released unconditionally later on Wednesday, while the other girls were released on bail and must report back to police later this month.

Additional reporting by Ernest Kao