Thieves broke into a flat in a Hong Kong public housing estate and made off with HK$1.2 million (US$155,000) worth of valuables.
The occupants of the unit in Sheung Tak Estate in Tseung Kwan O district were in mainland China for the Ching Ming holiday when the burglary occurred, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
It was the biggest theft in a public housing estate, the report said, citing the police.
The family of five returned home Tuesday night and found nothing unusual until they noticed that a safe was missing. It contained HK$290,000 and 300,000 yuan in cash and jewelry worth HK$530,000.
The burglars could have been people who know the family and its whereabouts, police said.
Investigators from the Kwun Tong Regional Crime Unit are studying video footage of the premises and interviewing relatives of the victims and witnesses.
Sheung Tak Estate was hit with 12 burglaries three years ago when it underwent renovation that required extensive scaffolding, Sai Kung district councilor Kan Siu-kei said.
Kan said many public housing estates have security loopholes that allow access from two entrances where only one has a guard on duty.
Also, most residents are not vigilant enough to prevent strangers going into their buildings.
In 2011, thieves stole a safe from a Yiu Tung Estate flat in Shau Kei Wan and came away with HK$600,000 in valuables, the biggest break-in at the time.
A family of five qualifies for public housing if their combined monthly income is HK$87,000 or lower and their net asset is less than HK$2.4 million.
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