Police are looking for a male suspect following the theft of a briefcase from the car of Development Secretary Eric Ma Siu-cheung.
According to authorities, the official car being used by Ma was broken into late Tuesday when it was parked near the Science Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui.
After smashing a window of the parked car, whose driver was away at that time, a man is believed to have grabbed a briefcase that was lying inside the vehicle and fled from the scene.
There was a tablet computer and some government documents inside the briefcase, according to the Development Bureau.
The incident took place at about 7 pm, when Ma, who assumed his post in February, was in Tsim Sha Tsui to attend an event and had his car parked on Science Museum Road.
The driver called the police soon after he returned to the car, which bears the license plate AM 9, from a break and found the right rear window was broken, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Police officers cordoned off an area after arriving at the scene and tried to get fingerprints left in the car by the thief.
The Development Bureau confirmed that the vehicle was the official car given to Ma and that his briefcase is now missing.
The bureau said that it has notified the government security officer about the matter and that it will follow up on the incident in accordance with existing procedures.
To ease the public’s concerns about potential theft of sensitive government data, the bureau said the tablet computer in the briefcase has been deactivated through remote command immediately.
It also added that the stolen documents did not contain personal information of any citizen.
Security camera footage showed a short-haired man wearing black clothes approach Ma’s car from Granville Road and using a tool to break open the vehicle’s window.
According to the footage carried by news website hk01.com, the man was seen taking a briefcase from the car swiftly and fleeing the scene. The whole process took him less than 10 seconds.
It is believed that a special tool that is normally used in rescue operations was used to break open the car window.
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