A man shot in the shoulder following a wild car chase in Hong Kong’s Sha Tin two days ago is believed to be linked to a burglary ring that targeted smartphone vendors, police have revealed.
A total of three men and two women, aged 37 to 46 – in addition to the 45-year-old who was taken into custody after being shot on Thursday – have been arrested on suspicion of burglary and handling stolen goods in a series of cases that took place over the past two months, police said on Saturday.
The group was allegedly involved in three burglaries in the New Territories in which HK$330,000 (US$42,426) worth of cash and goods – including 78 smartphones and tablet computers – were stolen from retail shops.
“In the past two months, police were notified of three burglary cases reported in Tuen Mun and Sheung Shui using similar tactics, involving break-ins at retail shops around midnight. The thieves mainly targeted stores selling smartphones in shopping malls,” Chief Inspector Tsui Ka-wing from the New Territories North regional crime unit said at a press briefing.
The group reportedly used tools to break the digital locks of the shops after dark, and fled the scene using vehicles with fake number plates that were not registered with the Transport Department, Tsui added.
Police said they had not ruled out the possibility that the group had triad ties. An investigation was still under way on Saturday.
After inspecting CCTV footage, officers were able to make out the faces and body types of the suspects, as well as the models of the getaway cars they used.
Police arrested two of the suspects, a 46-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman, during an inspection at Tin Yan Estate in Tin Shui Wai on Friday evening.
The woman was allegedly carrying 15 grams of meth at the time, and will also be investigated for drug trafficking. The three other suspects – two men, aged 46 and 37, and a woman, 37 – were apprehended on Saturday in Sha Tin and Kowloon City.
Officers also confiscated 39 smartphones and six tablets from a second-hand store in Yuen Long believed to be where the ring stored the stolen items.
Police said the suspects had professed to be construction workers, retail staff and unemployed.
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