Badly injured man who later died linked to 5 burglaries at remote Hong Kong Sea Ranch estate

A suspected serial burglar who was found severely injured at an isolated pier and later died in hospital may have fallen during a break-in at a remote seaside housing estate on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, according to police.

The force also said on Thursday it might seek help from mainland Chinese counterparts in the search for two of the 37-year-old man’s suspected accomplices who left Hong Kong right after the incident.

The mainland man was found lying unconscious with severe head injuries on an abandoned mattress at the private pier of the Sea Ranch estate at about 4.30am on Wednesday.

Sea Ranch is a beach retreat estate in Chi Ma Wan, at the southern end of Lantau. The enclave has no road connections and is accessible only by a small boat to and from Cheung Chau run by the estate’s management company for residents.

The man was rushed to St John Hospital on Cheung Chau but pronounced dead at about 6.30am, said Superintendent Iu Wing-kan of the New Territories South regional headquarters.

Deputy District Commander Jason Lau Wing-kei (left) and Superintendent Iu Wing-kan reveal details of the case. Photo: Handout

During police investigations, officers received calls from two flats in Sea Ranch reporting burglaries and loss of property.

The force later confirmed that five flats had been broken into, with HK$7,000 (US$900) in cash and two cartons of cigarettes stolen.

Iu said investigators believed the man fell from height during a break-in at block three of the estate.

Bloodstains, pieces of teeth and broken branches were found at a ground floor flat.

A screwdriver and a stocking used as a headcover were also recovered.

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A block three resident also told police there was a loud bang early on Wednesday, before the witness saw two men carrying an injured man away.

Security camera footage from one of the burgled flats showed the trio acting together, leading investigators to believe they were linked to all five burglaries in the 20-block low-rise estate.

Iu said the deceased man was the holder of a two-way permit, a travel document allowing mainlanders to visit Hong Kong.

He had entered the city on Tuesday with two other mainland men, aged 37 and 41, who also possessed two-way permits.

The pair left the city after the incident on Wednesday morning.

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Iu said the men were not foreign labourers as some community members had speculated.

“If needed, we will seek assistance from mainland police [in the search for the pair],” he said.

A postmortem examination will be conducted on Friday to determine the cause of death.


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