A 48-year-old Hong Kong woman struggled with an intruder she found in her upscale Mid-Levels flat before daybreak on Tuesday but failed to stop him from fleeing with about HK$2.7 million (US$348,000) in valuables and cash.
As of midday, a citywide manhunt was still under way for the burglar and an accomplice who helped him climb onto the first floor of the 20-storey Piccadilly Mansion on Po Shan Road shortly before 4am.
According to police, the burglar scaled the building up a drainpipe and climbed into the victim’s fourth-floor flat through the window of a toilet while his accomplice acted as lookout on a nearby hillside.
Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.
The break-in came to light when the tenant was woken up by the sounds of the burglar ransacking her 2,499 sq ft flat.
“The struggle erupted when she … found a black-clad burglar in the study room,” a police source said.
“The culprit managed to run off during the scuffle and ran into a toilet connected to the study room, from which he climbed out the window to escape.”
Police arrived after receiving a call from her at about 4.07am. Officers scouted the area, but no arrests were made. According to police, the two suspects are about 1.7 metres tall.
Jewellery and watches initially estimated to be worth HK$2.7 million were stolen along with nearly HK$4,000 in cash.
Detectives from the Central criminal investigation unit have checked security camera footage to gather evidence.
On May 2, two mainland Chinese men believed to be behind a series of burglaries in the New Territories were among three people arrested at the Tuen Mun scene of a bungled break-in during which two police officers drew their guns.
Officers are investigating whether the two mainland suspects had ties to a notorious rural gang operating in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Both were surnamed Wei, according to police, a name shared by many villagers there.
According to police, 63 mainlanders who entered Hong Kong illegally were arrested in connection with various crimes last year, up 53.7 per cent from the year before.
In 2020, police handled 2,095 reports of burglary across the city, down 12.5 per cent from 2,394 cases in 2019.