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Crime in Hong Kong

Burglars steal HK$850,000 worth of jewellery from painter’s Hong Kong home

Break-in happened after Delia Chien left her third-floor flat in Sakura Court at about 7pm on Tuesday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 2:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 10:49pm

A painter and mezzo-soprano became Hong Kong’s latest victim in a spate of high-profile break-ins on Tuesday night, after her luxury flat was burgled and jewellery worth about HK$850,000 (US$109,000) stolen.

The break-in happened after Delia Chien, 76, left her third-floor flat in Sakura Court on Kennedy Road, Wan Chai, at about 7pm.

Returning home several hours later, Chien was unable to unlock the door and called a locksmith. She found her bedroom and study had been ransacked.

“More than 10 items of jewellery, including a necklace and rings, were stolen. The valuables were worth about HK$850,000,” a police source said.

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The burglar climbed up a drainpipe and entered the flat by prising open a kitchen window, the source said. Police believed the burglar left by the same route.

“It is possible the raider had an accomplice who acted as a lookout below the building,” the source said.

Police scouted the area, but no arrests were made.

On Wednesday, officers were poring over security camera footage to gather information.

According to police, it was the second burglary on Kennedy Road in three months, though no property was stolen in the previous case.

According to an online profile, Chien studied painting in Rome in 1989 and completed an oil painting master class in California. She has held more than 20 solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Austria and the United States.

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

The number of such crimes in the city with losses totalling at least HK$500,000 climbed from 31 cases in 2015 to 54 last year. There were 13 such cases in the first six months of this year.