Theft was suspected when one of the tires on a dump truck at Sau Mau Ping went missing.
At about 8 a.m. Wednesday, the truck’s driver, surnamed Chu, was shocked to find that the vehicle’s right front tire had been removed.
When police officers arrived at the scene, they were a little skeptical, asking why only one out of the 10 tires had been stolen.
It turned out to be the result of a payment dispute, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
Chu, 36, told police he had taken the truck for a tire change at a garage a while ago.
He had not paid the fee of HK$1,500 despite being repeatedly pursued for it by the garage owner, surnamed Ng.
Ng, 61, warned Chu he would take back the tire if he refused to pay up.
Police contacted Ng, who immediately admitted taking the tire.
In the end, Chu agreed to pay.
Ng returned with the missing tire and installed it onto the vehicle.
And that was that.
Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said Ng was reckless to have taken the tire, as his garage had only been a custodian of the truck, and the owner’s consent should always be sought in taking off or replacing any part of the vehicle.
Luk said owing a service fee is a commercial matter, but taking away a vehicle’s tire without the owner’s consent could constitute a theft.
He said Ng could have filed a case with the Small Claims Tribunal, which accepts claims of HK$10,000 and under, the legal fees amounting to only a few hundred HK dollars.
Alternatively, Ng should have insisted on collecting the fee before handing over the vehicle back to the driver, Luk said.
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