Thieves evade cameras and guard dogs in Hong Kong’s latest home burglary
Domestic helper who discovered and reported break-in unhurt as police look for perpetrators who moved safe, prised it open and emptied it
In Hong Kong’s latest high-profile residential burglary, thieves evaded surveillance cameras and two guard dogs as they broke into a three-storey house and prised open and emptied a safe before daybreak on Monday.
A domestic helper, 34, was unhurt during the break-in at the house on Hang Lok Lane in Sha Tin.
Police said the perpetrators moved a safe from a second-floor bedroom to a first-floor bedroom, where they broke it open and stole the valuables inside.
Officers were sent to the house after police received a report of a break-in soon after 7am.
The helper discovered the break-in and removal of the safe. She also found the first-floor bedroom locked.
She alerted the 71-year-old sister of the female tenant, who was out of town. The sister called police.
“The first-floor bedroom was unlocked and the safe was found inside but had been prised open and emptied,” a police source said.
“At this stage, it is not known what was stolen as the tenant was out of town.”
It was understood the tenant would return to the city later this week.
The house was equipped with surveillance cameras and had guard dogs.
Officers were checking CCTV footage to gather evidence.
Separately, two flats in different parts of an upscale Hong Kong neighbourhood were burgled over the weekend, with about HK$900,000 in valuables lost.
The victim in the first case, a 50-year-old man who lives at Park Garden on Tai Hang Drive in Happy Valley, returned home at about 11pm on Saturday to find a chaotic scene. He called police.
After taking stock, he confirmed that watches and jewellery worth HK$890,000 (US$113,000) had gone missing.
There was bamboo scaffolding outside the building due to maintenance work.
No arrests were made.
Hours later, at about 10am on Sunday, a 42-year-old woman living at Yik Kwan Villa on Yik Kwan Avenue called police after realising a balcony window had been prised open and the flat ransacked.
The woman confirmed that HK$2,000 in cash, a laptop and a bag had been taken.
Scaffolding had also been put up outside her building, about 300 metres south of where the first burglary happened.
The affluent area has been hit by several high-profile burglaries recently.
Hong Kong police step up patrols after six burglaries in 24 hours see thieves make off with millions
Between the evening of March 10 and the next morning, three flats in the Shan Kwong Tower apartment block on Shan Kwong Road, also covered with scaffolding, were found burgled. Residents lost a total of HK$344,000 in cash and valuables in those cases.
On March 11, a 68-year-old man living less than a kilometre away in Ventris Court on Ventris Road lost HK$300,000 in cash and jewellery in a burglary.
Since March 10, there have been at least 15 reported burglaries in the city, the losses totalling more than HK$4 million. Last year, police handled 1,872 reports of break-ins, down 22.9 per cent compared with the 2016 figure.