Painter Psyche Chong hit by $200,000 burglary

Neighbours fascinated by response of 30 police

Psyche Chong

When Psyche Chong, Sai Kung’s painting lawyer, woke one morning last month she wondered why her alarm had not gone off. Cries of the neighbour’s baby had roused her from sleep at 8.15am. She reached for one of the two phones usually by her bedside. They weren’t there.

“I searched around the whole house,” Psyche said. “The living room was tidy. Then I went into the wardrobe and found a box of jewellery on the table.  Normally it is in the drawer. My first impression was, oh my God, this has been done by a ghost.”

Then she realised her flat had been been burgled. Shocked, Psyche went downstairs and knocked on her neighbour’s window. There was no answer. She went over to another house and found a resident.  He gave her his mobile to call the police and alerted the downstairs neighbour. “He gave me a cup of tea, which calmed me down a lot,” she said.

Psyche (right) with a friend in Macau

The police began arriving, about 10 at first. The neighbours were fascinated by the size of the police response. They came in waves of about 10 at time, at least 30 in total turning up.

Psyche said she lost 15 rings, 15 items of jewellery, three watches, the two phones and a Givenchy hand-bag, presumably used by the thief to carry his loot.  Total value about $200,000, she said.

The downstairs neighbour said he saw the burglar. “I got up at 4am — for some reason I looked at my watch — to get a drink of water. Through the kitchen window I saw a man moving outside, quite tall, dressed in dark clothing. I thought it was a visitor leaving.”

Psyche said she does not worry much about the loss of watches and jewellery, except those that were gifts from her grandmother. What she is upset about is the man’s presence in her bedroom. “He was so close to me. I was just sleeping. He could have done anything.” Neighbours consoled her by saying that while burglaries are common in Sai Kung, burglaries with violence are unheard of.

She hadn’t locked her balcony doors, just latched them. “I like the green view.” Police showed her that just a little physical strength was enough to open such doors. Now Psyche locks up properly, the grill doors as well.

“Some times I have intuition. A voice in my mind tells me to do things. A few times in the days before the voice told me to shut the grill doors. Next time I will listen.”

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