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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Man shot in Sha Tin car chase suspected to be part of a burglary ring, police says

Man shot in Sha Tin car chase suspected to be part of a burglary ring, police says

A man who was shot in the shoulder following a dramatic car chase in Sha Tin two days ago is believed to be part of a burglary ring targeting smartphone shops, police said.
Five people – three men and two women, aged from 37 to 46 – have been arrested for staging at least three burglaries and handling stolen goods worth HK$330,000, which included 78 smartphones, tabloids and cash from retail shops.

Chief Inspector Tsui Ka-wing of the New Territories North region crime unit said the suspects, professed to be construction workers, salespersons and unemployed, belong to a burglary syndicate.

On Thursday, two police officers fired a live round after failing to halt a driver who sped off in a private vehicle with an expired license. The 45-year-old man, surnamed Hung, was shot in the shoulder and subsequently sent to Prince of Wales Hospital.

Officers later seized suspected burglary tools in a car search, such as hammers, gloves and pliers.

Hung, a construction worker with alleged triad background, was arrested along with his 37-year-old girlfriend.

Tsui said officers received three separate burglary reports from retail shops in Tuen Mun and Sheung Shui in the past two months.

Investigations showed the suspects deployed similar tactics, involving break-ins at retail shops around midnight, and stores selling smartphones in shopping malls were targeted.

The group reportedly used tools to break the digital locks of the shops, and fled the scene by vehicles with fake number plates that were not registered with the Transport Department, Tsui added.

After checking with CCTV footages, officers were able to identify the faces and body types of the suspects, as well as the models of the getaway cars they used.

Police said they 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 upon the arrest, and will also be investigated for drug trafficking.

Officers also confiscated 9 smartphones and six tablets from a second-hand store in Yuen Long believed to be where the ring stored the stolen items.

Tsui said the force did not rule out the possibility of making more arrest as the investigation was still underway.

Traffic officers were patrolling Tolo Highway near Ma Liu Shui when an automatic number plate recognition system on the highway identified a silver car with a license plate that has expired since 2015.

A constable and a sergeant chased after the car in a police vehicle, ordering the car to stop over a loudspeaker but to no avail.

The vehicle shortly accelerated onto Tai Po Road and Sha Tin Road, where he drove in the opposite direction of traffic and headed towards Prince of Wales Hospital on Ngan Shing Street.

During the attempted escape, the car skipped four red lights and rammed into a bus, two private cars, two taxis and a police vehicle.

The dramatic 8-kilometer car pursuit was brought to a halt when one of the officers fired at the driver.

Several other people were also injured in the incident, including the two officers, the drivers of the two taxis and a female passenger of another car among them, all of whom had been sent to the hospital.

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I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.

Edith Sitwell
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