Hong Kong police arrest four after barking dog foils attempt to steal safe from luxury home in Stanley

Clifford Lo
·3-min read

A barking dog foiled a gang of burglars as they attempted to steal a safe from a multimillion-dollar house in Hong Kong in the early hours of Tuesday, waking its owner and leading to the arrest of four men from mainland China just 30 minutes later.

The break-in came to light when the 44-year-old tenant – a British man – was awakened by his dog at around 2.19am in his Tung Tau Wan Road house in Stanley.

According to police, the man, who is the managing partner of a capital management company in Hong Kong, went to the living room and discovered four men on the first-floor balcony.

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“The safe had been moved to the balcony. After seeing the tenant, the four thieves abandoned the safe and fled empty-handed,” a police source said. Two crowbars and a glove were left behind at the scene.

The source said he believed the robbers had attempted to break open the safe in the house’s study in vain, then tried to carry it off. He said no valuables were stolen in the incident.

A police source said the thieves first attempted to break into the safe, before giving up and trying to carry it off. Photo: Warton Li
A police source said the thieves first attempted to break into the safe, before giving up and trying to carry it off. Photo: Warton Li

Officers immediately launched a manhunt for the four intruders after receiving a call from the tenant.

About half an hour later, police intercepted a taxi on Tai Tam Road near Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam – about 4km away from the crime scene. Four male passengers were arrested in connection with the burglary.

The source said initial investigation showed the four men, aged 29 to 46, had crossed into the city from the mainland illegally and some were from Hunan province. Police also arrested them for being in the city unlawfully.

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The taxi driver, 64, was also taken to Western Police Station for inquiries, but another source said he was not believed to be part of the gang. The four men flagged down his taxi near Stanley Main Beach, a short distance from the house.

Police handled 1,841 burglaries across the city in the first 10 months of 2020, up nearly 9 per cent from the 1,690 reported during the same period of 2019

Among last year’s high-profile cases, the official residence of the Australian consul general to Hong Kong in Deep Water Bay was broken into on October 2. There were signs of forced entry via the property’s windows, but no items were reported missing.

In July, a senior Swire Group executive had his house on Mount Cameron Road on The Peak broken into. His neighbour, French Consul General Alexandre Giorgini, meanwhile, had his house burgled in January and more than HK$8,000 in valuables and local and foreign currency stolen.

In September, seven pieces of calligraphy purportedly drawn by former Chinese leader Mao Zedong, along with 24,327 stamps and 10 copper coins were stolen from a Yau Ma Tei flat. Police said the owner claimed the haul was worth about HK$5 billion (US$644.7 million).

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