Hong Kong police were called to a two-storey house in a high-end residential area of Kowloon Tong on Thursday morning to investigate a burglary involving valuables said to be worth HK$1.1 million (US$142,000).

The break-in came to light when a 23-year-old man called police around 9am, saying his home on Kent Road had been burgled.

“Officers were told that four watches were stolen, along with a wallet and some bank cards from a bedroom. The haul was estimated to be worth about HK$1.1 million,” a police source said.

He said the most expensive item was a Jaeger watch said to be worth about HK$650,000, adding that the value of the stolen property had yet to be confirmed.

The victim found the items missing when he returned home at about 4.30am, having left around 8pm on Wednesday. He said there was no sign of a break-in and the flat did not appear to have been ransacked.

He did not immediately make a report to police until after he checked security camera footage and saw someone climbing out of one of the home’s windows at around 2am.

Officers are now checking the footage to gather evidence.

Burglaries have been on the rise across the city this year.

The official residence of the Australian consul general to Hong Kong on Island Road in Deep Water Bay was broken into on October 2. There were signs of forced entry via the property’s windows, but no items were reported missing.

In July, a senior Swire Group executive had his house on Mount Cameron Road on The Peak broken into. His neighbour, French Consul General Alexandre Giorgini, had his house burgled in January and more than HK$8,000 in valuables and local and foreign currency stolen in the raid.

Police handled 1,841 burglaries across the city in the first 10 months of 2020, up nearly nine per cent from 1,690 over the same period of 2019.