Primary suspects: pre-teen girls detained by police over jewelry theft

Though not biggest heist in Hong Kong, a HK$5 million (US$641,000) jewel theft continues to make headlines this week, as the three suspects arrested by police are all primary school girls.

The case — which emerged earlier this week — also took a darker turn today, when local outlets reported officers were looking into suggestions of child abuse.

According to reports, officers are still searching for two missing diamond necklaces and a bracelet reported stolen on Monday night by a woman in her late 30s surnamed Lee, reported to be an investment banker.

The woman, according to on.cc, has been living with a man — described as a “friend” — at a public housing estate called Lower Wong Tai Sin since January.

She suspected the valuables went missing from her handbag in the last month.

Suspicion for the robbery fell on the man’s 10-year-old daughter, who was arrested on Tuesday.

According to The Standard, the girl allegedly confessed to stealing the jewelry and police suspect she passed the items on to her friends.

One of her classmates was also detained on Tuesday while another girl was arrested yesterday.

Both girls, 12-years-old, denied receiving the precious goods and searches of their homes have failed to recover the items.

The girl detained yesterday was let go unconditionally, while the man’s daughter and her older classmate were released on bail last night after a night of detention. They are expected to report to police later this month.

Reporters yesterday confronted the father, a divorced hairstylist, who said the woman, reportedly married, was a long-term friend who was staying temporarily because of family issues, reported on.cc.

According to the SCMP, the man’s daughter and the woman did not get along.

Following the girl’s detention, it also emerged the girl may have been beaten by her father with a clothes hanger after a social worker discovered bruises on her hands and feet, Ming Pao reports.

The girl was sent to hospital for examination, while police have also started investigating the suspected case of child abuse.

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