Hong Kong police arrested a suspected burglar who pepper-sprayed officers in an unsuccessful bid to escape after he was allegedly caught breaking into a house in Tai Po in the early hours on Monday.
Dozens of Police Tactical Unit officers also combed the nearby hillside in Nam Wa Po on Monday morning in a search for any possible associates still at large.
Officers spotted the suspect, 31, at Blossom Villas at 2.40am as he approached a house near the hillside with a screwdriver in hand.
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“Officers intercepted the man, who then fled and resisted aggressively,” said Senior Inspector Yip Wing-ho, of the Tai Po district crime squad, adding that the suspect dropped the tool, a flashlight and a pair of gloves as he ran from the three pursuing officers.
“As he ran, he attacked the officers with suspected pepper spray. We used appropriate force to subdue the suspect. Two officers were injured.”
A source said both of the officers had twisted their ankles in the commotion, and one of them was ill after being pepper-sprayed. Both were sent to North District Hospital for treatment.
An investigation found that the suspect had entered Hong Kong illegally from mainland China, and that he was linked to other burglaries in the district.
The man is being detained on suspicion of assaulting police officers, attempted burglary, possession of arms and entering the city illegally, pending further investigation.
In the first six months of this year, police handled 741 burglary reports involving losses of HK$49.7 million (US$6.4 million), 36 per cent fewer cases than the 1,156 recorded in the same period last year.
Earlier this month, two suspected burglars believed to be members of a notorious village gang in mainland China were arrested following a two-hour police search in an upmarket residential area on Repulse Bay Road. One of them had climbed from the third to 13th floor of a block at Celestial Garden, with part of the ascent captured in a viral video.
In October, a burglar climbed up the drainpipe of a 20-storey building in Mid-Levels and stole HK$450,000 (US$57,900) in cash and valuables from the home of a senior executive at an American investment bank.
The force believed the burglar was likely to have escaped by the same route. Officers scoured the area, but no arrest was made.
This article Hong Kong police arrest suspected burglar who pepper-sprayed officers in unsuccessful bid to escape first appeared on South China Morning Post