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Hong Kong taxis

Hunt for drunk Hong Kong expat who stole taxi in effort to reach red-light district

Middle-aged man jumped behind wheel after cabby got out to ask for directions, and drove off before abandoning taxi down the road

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 February, 2018, 3:12pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 February, 2018, 9:49pm

A drunk middle-aged English-speaking man stole a taxi outside a shopping centre in a busy shopping district of Hong Kong early on Monday.

The cabby had left the vehicle to ask for directions.

The man drove the taxi for about 100 metres from the Times Square mall in Causeway Bay before abandoning it on Percival Street and fleeing on foot, prompting a police manhunt.

By lunchtime the man – thought to be an expat and about 1.7 metres (5 foot 7 inches) to 1.8 metres tall – had not been caught, police said.

The incident happened when the cabby, 63, stopped at a red light outside Times Square at the junction of Matheson Street and Russell Street at about 2.45am.

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As the taxi stopped, the suspect opened the door, jumped in and asked the driver to take him to Wan Chai, an area popular for its nightlife and known as the city’s red-light district.

The cabby, who came from Kowloon, did not know the exact destination so he got out of the vehicle to ask directions from a nearby taxi driver.

“The suspect also left the vehicle and kicked the door repeatedly before he jumped into the taxi and drove off,” a police spokesman said. The driver then called 999.

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The taxi made a right turn onto Percival Street, ran for about 100 metres and pulled over outside the Po Wing Building.

Police found the abandoned vehicle within minutes. Its front right door was dented. Officers searched the area but arrested no one.

The suspect smelled strongly of alcohol at the time of the incident, police said.