A burglar climbed up the drainpipes of a high-rise building in Hong Kong to break into a sixth-floor flat, making off with HK$650,000 (US$83,156) in cash and valuables while its tenants were out for dinner, the Post has learned.
The break-in came to light when the tenants, a doctor and his wife both aged 70, returned to their home in Nicholson Tower on Wong Nai Chung Gap Road in Happy Valley at around 10pm on Wednesday after they had left for dinner five hours earlier.
The couple found the kitchen window had been prised open and the grille broken, a source familiar with the case revealed on Thursday.
The incident occurred about 12 hours after another burglary that took place in a two-storey mansion on Perkins Road in Jardine’s Lookout, in which an intruder escaped with only two cans of cola after he was discovered by a domestic helper. The two locations are about 2km (1.2 miles) apart.
Detectives from the Wan Chai criminal investigation unit are looking into whether the same burglar was behind the two cases. So far, no arrests have been made in connection with the incidents.
In the latest case, the Post learned that about HK$260,000 in local, mainland Chinese and Canadian currency was stolen along with seven watches, six diamond earrings and five necklaces.
According to police, a preliminary investigation indicated that a total of HK$650,000 in cash and valuables were stolen.
“An investigation indicates that the perpetrator came down from a slope behind the [29-storey] building and climbed over the surrounding wall before scaling up the block along the drainpipes,” the insider said, adding that the burglar fled using the same route.
He added that surveillance camera footage showed the break-in occurred shortly before 7pm.
In mid-October, two thieves broke into a four-storey house in Sha Tin and stole HK$260,000 in cash and valuables when the tenants were out for dinner.
Police handled 572 reports of burglaries in the first six months of the year, a 50 per cent jump from the 381 cases recorded over the same period in 2022.
“It is believed that the burglars preyed on homes which were left unattended when people had resumed work, schooling and trips [after the Covid-19 outbreak],” the force said in August when giving an overview of the law and order situation in the first half of 2023.
Police have urged the public to lock windows and doors properly and not to keep valuables at home.