Online video captures precarious climb of suspected Hong Kong burglar

Hong Kong police have arrested two people after receiving reports they had broken into Celestial Garden in Repulse Bay Road.
PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube/SCMP Clips

Two suspected burglars believed to be members of a notorious village gang in mainland China were arrested on Wednesday (Nov 3) following a two-hour police search in an upmarket residential area of Hong Kong.

A 78-second online video showed one of the two suspects climbing from the 13th floor of a block at Celestial Garden on Repulse Bay Road. He had started from the third floor.

Police were called to the scene soon after 1.30am upon receiving reports that two mainland Chinese men had scaled a fence surrounding a 20-storey building in the area and activated the alarm system.

A security guard checked surveillance footage to find the pair entering the car park of the building and reported the matter to police.

The intruders were captured by security cameras scaling the building from the podium when police arrived.

Officers encountered a suspicious individual on the balcony of a third-floor flat which was under renovation and supposed to be empty. Police then broke into the unit and arrested a 40-year-old man at about 3am.

A police source said the force also arrested a 21-year-old man on the 16th floor, after a suspect was spotted climbing up the building.

According to police, no one was injured and no cash or valuables were stolen.

In the online clip, an officer can be heard yelling at the suspect scaling the block: "This is making it more dangerous. Come down!"

The man's precarious journey ended on the 16th floor, where he climbed onto a balcony and was arrested at 3.15am.

[embed]https://youtu.be/hE2gMKWBvh4[/embed]

The source said preliminary investigation suggested the two suspects, both surnamed Wei, came from the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in the country's south and had entered the city illegally.

Officers were investigating whether the pair belonged to a notorious village gang in the region, where most residents have Wei as their surname, the source added.

Detectives from the Western criminal investigation unit are looking into whether the two suspects are linked to other cases.

In June, about HK$900,000 (S$1.2 million) in cash and valuables were stolen from a flat at South Bay Towers in Repulse Bay.

On Tuesday, police also launched an air-and-land search for a man behind a series of burglaries in Tseung Kwan O.

Footage of a man wanted by police in connection with a series of burglaries in Tseung Kwan O. PHOTO: Handout

The manhunt, which included the deployment of a government helicopter, began at about 4pm when a suspicious individual was spotted at Ha Yeung Village off Clear Water Bay Road. The man fled when he saw officers.

Combing the area, police found some valuables which had been reported stolen in recent burglaries.

According to the force, the suspect, thought to be aged about 40, was 1.7 metres tall and wearing a cap and blue checkered shirt. Officers believed he had a knife with him.

Members of the public who spot the man are urged to contact police at 6277 4500.

In the first six months of this year, police handled 741 burglary reports involving losses of HK$49.7 million, nearly a 36 per cent drop from the 1,156 cases recorded in the same period last year.

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This article was first published in South China Morning Post. 

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