$2m worth of goods gone in 80 seconds

Top News | Staff reporter 21 Sep 2016

Four robbers broke into the Chanel store in Causeway Bay in 80 seconds, making off with goods worth HK$2 million, and leaving a big hole in its glass door.

The luxury boutique in Lee Garden One was found burglarized yesterday morning, when patrolling security guards noticed a two meter by one meter hole in the shop's door and called police.

Glass showcases inside the store were destroyed, with jewelry, watches and handbags stolen.

Four burglars remained at large, described as all men of medium build, and thought to be aged between 25 and 30, police said.

They were wearing black clothes, masks and gloves. One of them wore black thick frame glasses, while another wore a cap.

CCTV footage from the boutique and other stores on the same street showed the break-in lasted only about 80 seconds. The burglars may have escaped in a vehicle. It was unclear whether the alarm was triggered.

Detectives from the Hong Kong Island regional crime unit returned to the scene yesterday for further investigation.

Retail security professionals said the incident may be a result of negligence by an employee who failed to switch on the alarm the night before.

Last month, dozens of jade pieces were stolen from a Percival Street store in Causeway Bay. Police are investigating if the two cases are related.

Alex Ho Chuck-fung, director of security firm Ensec Solutions, which has other famous boutique brands as its clients in Hysan Avenue, said the burglary was "savage" and rare. He said the store alarm may have to be activated before staff leave for the night, adding he suspected an employee may have forgotten to do so.

Ho also suggested the shop increase security facilities such as improving its glass break censor and motion detection censor. It could also store jewelry in a safe overnight.

Uniforce Security Systems general manager Kwok Cheuk-man suggested the store install tempered glass to prevent it from being easily broken. "This can help buy time and increase the difficulty for the burglars to break in," he said.

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