Four suspected members of Hong Kong burglary gang arrested
Two Hongkongers and two men from the mainland put up a struggle when officers moved to arrest them on a hillside in Tsz Wan Shan
Four suspected members of a Hong Kong burglary gang that recruited illegal immigrants from the mainland to raid luxury flats in the city were arrested on Thursday, according to police.
The four men, including two illegal immigrants from the mainland, were picked up on a hillside in Tsz Wan Shan at around midday. An initial investigation showed they were linked to a break-in where a Harbourfront Horizon flat in Hung Hom was burgled and a safe containing valuables worth about HK$170,000 was stolen, police said.
The four men put up a struggle at the scene but were eventually overpowered by officers. Police said the safe, contain property which included HK$70,000 in cash and a watch valued at HK$100,000, were recovered, along with a mobile phone.
At about 3pm, more than 50 officers were scouring a hillside off Po Kong Village Road near Fu Shan Estate in Tsz Wan Shan in an effort to find the mainland suspects’ hideout. A tracker dog was also deployed. No findings were made.
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Police believed they had sneaked into the Hung Hom flat with a key card. Officers were trying to find out how they obtained it.
The suspects – two Hongkongers and two illegal immigrants newly arrived from Sichuan and Hunan aged 42 to 57 – were being held for questioning and none had yet been charged.
The Hongkongers were believed to have arranged for the arrival of the mainlanders.
Detectives from the Kowloon West regional unit were handling the case.
They believed the ring might be connected to other burglaries.
The incidents happened in 10 days before the start of the annual police campaign against crimes such as burglary during the coming festive season.
Between December 17 and February 25, officers will set up patrols across the city and set up observatory posts in high-risk locations in addition to conducting an anti-crime publicity campaign.
Last month, a painter and mezzo-soprano became the city’s latest victim of a high-profile break-in after her luxury flat in Wan Chai was burgled and jewellery worth about HK$850,000 was stolen.
Luxury houses and flats in areas 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 in each case climbed from 31 in 2015 to 54 last year. There were 13 such cases in the first six months of this year.
According to official statistics, police handled 1,569 reports of burglary across the city in the first 10 months of this year, down 21.5 per cent compared with the figure in the same period last year.