Hong Kong MTR

Man arrested for theft of trash bin after travelling with it on Hong Kong MTR

Police investigation found he stole the rubbish container from his public housing estate and put another bin there in its place

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 10:31pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 March, 2018, 12:13am

A 69-year-old man who created a stir online by travelling on Hong Kong’s MTR with a large rubbish bin was arrested by police on Friday on suspicion of stealing it from a public housing estate.

Initial investigations showed the cleaner stole the wheeled rubbish bin from Lung Fung House at Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate in Wong Tai Sin before daybreak on Thursday, police said. He lives in the same building.

A police source said it was replaced with another bin the man used at his workplace in Mong Kok. “The two rubbish bins are of the same colour and similar in size but the bin placed there by the man did not have wheels,” the source said.

How did this man manage to get a large rubbish bin on crowded MTR?

The theft came to light when a female cleaner discovered that the wheeled bin was missing from the public housing block in Wong Tai Sin and called police at about 10am on Friday.

After viewing CCTV footage, police identified the suspect and arrested him for theft at his home around noon.

By evening, the man was still being held for questioning. Officers from Wong Tai Sin police district are handling the case.

In a photo widely circulated online, he was seen standing inside a fairly crowded train carriage with the bin next to him.

Other passengers nearby did not seem to notice or be bothered by the unusual item he was carrying.

An MTR spokesman said the passenger boarded the Whampoa-bound train at Wong Tai Sin station at about 12.05pm on Thursday.

An off-duty MTR employee on the train alerted the operation control centre.

Staff at Kowloon Tong station approached the man and told him the item was oversized according to MTR rules. The man was advised to leave the train, the spokesman said.

“The passenger was cooperative, and he disembarked at the next station, Shek Kip Mei, and left the station area. No prosecution was needed,” the spokesman added. He reminded passengers to observe the rules to ensure safety.

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No details were available on how the man managed to get past turnstiles and MTR staff surveillance to board the train.

Under the MTR Conditions of Carriage of Luggage, passengers travelling on trains and buses on the MTR network may carry one piece of luggage with total dimensions (length, width and height) not exceeding 170cm and the length of any one side not exceeding 130cm. The item must not weigh more than 23kg.

Passengers with valid permits are allowed to carry one musical instrument or one piece of sports equipment with total dimensions not exceeding 235cm and the length of any one side not exceeding 145cm.