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Shoplifter steals $163,000 coat from Burberry

A brazen shoplifter has helped himself to an alligator-leather coat worth nearly HK$1 million (S$163,000) from a flagship Burberry store in one of Hong Kong's busiest shopping districts, police said yesterday.

The pricey trench coat was displayed on a mannequin, and staff at the British brand's shop in Tsim Sha Tsui discovered it was missing after they closed for business on Wednesday.

"The person who reported the case discovered a leather jacket worth about HK$900,000 had disappeared. A review of the security cameras made staff believe it had been stolen," the police said in a statement.

The police are looking for a strongly built male suspect aged between 30 and 40, it said, AFP reported.

The suspect is a Chinese man and walked out of the three-storey store unchallenged after removing the coat from the mannequin on Wednesday evening, the South China Morning Post reported yesterday.

Quoting a police source, the newspaper said some designer brands avoid placing security tags on their high-end products for fear of ruining their quality, relying instead on surveillance cameras and security personnel.

The Tsim Sha Tsui area is particularly popular with Chinese tourists willing to pay eye-popping prices for Western brands. Burberry, which has 14 stores in Hong Kong, did not immediately respond to AFP's requests for comment.