A suspected rookie burglar took about three hours to break a hole in a wall to enter a silver shop from an adjacent beauty salon in Tsuen Wan before fleeing with about 1,000 silver ornaments in a pre-dawn raid on Wednesday.
The haul, mostly bracelets and necklaces, was stolen from Ya Xin Yi Siver Shop on the ground floor of Winning Heights in Wun Tung Street.
It is estimated to be worth HK$600,000, according to police. The shop has been open for business for about four months.
Initial investigations showed the “hole-in-the-wall” burglar entered the beauty salon at about 1.30am by breaking the padlock on its rolling shutter, a police source said.
“We believe the culprit spent about three hours inside the beauty shop breaking a 60cm by 60cm hole through a 10cm-thick wall to enter the jewellery shop,” he said.
The raider snatched about 1,000 silver ornaments and HK$2,000 from a cash register and left by the same route before 5am.
The source believed the burglar entered the jeweller through the beauty centre because the silver shop had a strong gate with a security camera.
The break-in came to light at about 10.30am when staff from the silver shop arrived for work, found signs of ransacking and called police.
Police said HK$5,000 was also stolen from a drawer in the beauty salon.
After viewing security camera footage from the area, police believe the burglar acted alone and that he was a rookie.
“A professional burglar only takes a few minutes to break a hole in a wall with a jack and crowbar and will not stay in a crime scene for such a long time,” the source said.
He said officers were still viewing security camera footage in an effort to identify the burglar.
Police figures show there were 2,428 reports of burglary last year, a 5.9 per cent drop from 2,579 in 2015.