Three gang members accused in thefts of 100 clothing items
The gang, apparently run by two Vietnamese asylum seekers, allegedly organized eight shoplifting runs in which nearly US$9,000 worth of clothes were stolen
Three people believed to be part of an organized shoplifting gang were arrested in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, on Tuesday after allegedly stealing about 100 items of clothing from various stores in Hong Kong.
Two Vietnamese, a 47-year-old man and his 44-year-old girlfriend, apparently asylum seekers, were believed to be core members of the gang. The third person arrested was a 44-year-old Hong Kong man whose job was transporting the stolen goods by truck.
It was understood that the gang organized eight shoplifting runs in six chain stores in Kowloon’s Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui areas and in Central on Hong Kong Island, in which about 100 items of clothing worth a total of around HK$70,000 (US$8,920) were stolen.
A senior inspector with Mong Kok Police Station said the gang would recruit three or four fellow Vietnamese and go to the stores in a group. They stole at least 10 items each time and then transported the clothing to a storage place in Yau Ma Tei, Metro Daily reported.
The gang used special bags lined with aluminum foil, which allowed them to pass through anti-theft detectors without setting off the alarms.
Police say they also confiscated a device that could remove security tags from clothing.
The gang repacked the stolen items and sold them in Sham Shui Po or sent back to Vietnam for profit, police say.