Police arrested a nimble-fingered man Monday on suspicion of stealing around a dozen iPhones in 20 seconds flat at a Mong Kok shop.
The 50-year-old swiped 13 iPhone Pro Max devices at a shop in Sincere House earlier that day, posing as an employee when the shopkeeper stepped away for two minutes to get cash for a customer.
The shopkeeper, surnamed Wong, told HK01 that the man exchanged a few words with passerbys who were browsing, ostensibly to lower their guard.
Surveillance footage showed him going behind the shop counter casually and leaving moments after, walking and closing his backpack at the same time.
Wong did not realize the iPhone 13s had been stolen until later, when he inspected his stock. As his CCTV camera was malfunctioning, he reviewed footage from a neighboring shop and saw that a man had made off with the phones in his absence.
Police arrived at the scene to investigate, but were unable to find the suspect.
The man was arrested later that day in Kwai Chung. Initial investigation found that he is connected with four similar theft cases in Yau Tsim Mong from October to November, all of them involving mobile phones.
Officers searched his home and confiscating clothing items he wore during the incidents. The stolen property is worth around HK$160,000, police said.