Hong Kong police have arrested four men in connection with a burglary in which a safe holding more than HK$2 million (US$257,000) in cash and valuables was stolen from a public housing flat in Kwun Tong last month.
The four suspects, aged 31 to 53, were detained in a series of raids in Cheung Sha Wan, Ma On Shan, Tin Shui Wai and Yuen Long between August 23 and 30, police said on Tuesday. But none of the stolen property has been recovered.
Senior Inspector Yan Hou-yin of the Kowloon East regional crime unit said security camera footage helped officers identify members of the gang as well as the cars involved in carrying out the July 8 break-in at Tsui Ping Estate and scouting the area the day before.
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She said the suspects included one of the alleged burglars, as well as the owners of two of the cars.
The break-in came to light on the night of July 8 when a 39-year-old man returned to his flat at the public housing estate to find the door had been prised open and the safe was gone.
The safe was taken from the bedroom of the flat, according to police. Valuables inside were said to include six Rolex watches, as well as gold and jewellery.
The break-in took place shortly after 4pm that day, about an hour after the tenant and his family members left the flat, according to a police source.
“Security camera footage showed three perpetrators were impersonating delivery workers and pushing a trolley … to avoid the attention of a security guard,” the senior inspector said.
Yan said the gang left with the trolley – now carrying the safe – just 10 minutes later and fled in a getaway car.
She said one of the suspects had been charged with burglary and would be brought before Kwun Tong Court on Wednesday. The other three men have been released pending further investigation.
The source said police were still searching for four other men in connection with the case.
Yan urged building security guards to stay vigilant as thieves often masquerade in different roles such as delivery workers to avoid attention.
In the first six months of this year, police handled 741 reports of burglary across the city involving the loss of HK$49.7 million in cash and valuables, down 35.9 per cent from 1,156 cases in the same period last year.