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Crime

Second luxury home burgled in past two months as thieves make off with safe in Deep Water Bay

Thieves break in while owner is away, stealing a 40x40cm strongbox

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 2:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2018, 2:19pm

A safe was reported stolen from a luxury house in Deep Water Bay on Friday, marking the second burglary in the past two months in one of Hong Kong’s exclusive neighbourhoods.

Police were called to the Deep Water Bay Road house soon after 7.30am after a 34-year-old domestic helper called to report a break-in.

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A 40x40cm safe was stolen from a cloakroom, a police source said, adding police were unsure what was inside the safe because the domestic helper’s employer was out of town.

About two months ago, a home owned by the family of the late property tycoon Cheng Yu-tung in nearby Repulse Bay Road was burgled, with 10 gold ornaments and HK$30,000 missing. It was the second time the property was burgled in the past two years.

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The house was also robbed on August 8, 2016. During that break-in, at least four, 15cm gold statues were stolen from a guest room. Known as Estrellita, the property is located on the side of Violet Hill. It has an outdoor tennis court and pool on the hillside.

In Hong Kong, luxury homes and flats in upscale neighbourhoods such as The Peak, Repulse Bay, Kowloon Tong and Deep Water Bay have been targeted by burglars in recent years.

Justice minister Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah and her husband, engineer Otto Poon Lok-to, had also fallen victim. On Boxing Day in 2016, Cheng’s house at Villa De Mer in Tuen Mun and Poon’s home next door were burgled.

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Despite a series of high-profile break-ins, such crimes have dropped in the city by 17.4 per cent to 808 in the first half of this year, marking a record low since half-year crime statistics were first kept in 1977. About 70 per cent of this year’s burglary cases involved in residential premises.

Police said such crimes with losses totalling at least HK$500,000 also dropped to eight cases in the first half of this year from 13 in the same period last year.