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Crime

Burglaries strike two Hong Kong luxury homes in Repulse Bay in latest of spate of break-ins

No arrests yet after about HK$70,000 worth of belongings reported taken

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 3:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 10:53pm

Two high-end Hong Kong apartments in the same development were burgled on Wednesday in the latest of a string of break-ins in the city’s well-heeled neighbourhoods.

Police were called to one of the flats South Bay Road in Repulse Bay just before noon when a domestic helper, 42, found the home had been ransacked.

When officers arrived, a male resident, 54, from another flat nearby also reported a burglary at his residence.

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A ring worth HK$50,000 and a mobile phone worth HK$10,000 from the domestic helper’s flat were stolen.

A laptop valued at HK$10,000 disappeared from the man’s home.

Officers from Western District criminal investigation unit are handling the cases. So far, no one has been arrested.

The cases follows a series of break-ins targeting luxury houses and upscale flats on Hong Kong Island in the first week of this month, prompted police to launch an anti-burglary overnight operation from October 4 to 6.

On the first night of the air and land operation, two intruders entered a three-storey house on Repulse Bay Road and made off with HK$120,000 (US$15,300) worth of valuables and cash.

That was less than 24 hours after HK$80,000 worth of jewellery was reported stolen from another house on Repulse Bay Road. The two houses are about 2km apart.

On October 3, a three-storey house on Watford Road on The Peak was burgled. Two rings, worth a total of HK$42,000, and a safe were stolen. The occupants, a French couple, called police at 12.06pm.

About five hours earlier, police were called to a flat in the upmarket Hong Kong Parkview housing estate on Tai Tam Reservoir Road after a domestic helper found the home had been burgled. It was not known what items had been taken, because the helper’s employer was out of town.

And on October 2, three burglars fled empty-handed from a luxury four-storey house on Black’s Link, Happy Valley, when two domestic helpers surprised them in the act.

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According to police, the number of reported burglaries in the city fell 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 compiled in 1977. The force said burglaries involving losses of at least HK$500,000 dropped to eight in the first half of this year, from 13 in the same period last year.

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

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