A middle-aged woman suspected of leading a group of teenage boys – one of them her son – on a pair of robberies in one of Hong Kong’s poorest neighbourhoods was charged on Christmas Day.
The five boys, aged between 14 and 16, were arrested on Christmas Eve, along with the woman, but had not been charged.
The 47-year-old woman, thought to be one of the boys’ mother, was linked to two alleged robberies on December 16 and December 17.
Clio Chan Yi-ting, from Sham Shui Po crime squad, said the two victims, both women, were tailed late at night in the district by four to five people.
She said the robbers covered the victims’ mouths from behind and gripped their necks, trying to seize their belongings.
One victim, 56 years of age, was robbed of HK$8,000 (US$1,020) and 500 yuan (US$72). The other, 55, struggled and tried to shout for help, so the robbers fled empty-handed.
The arrested woman, still in police custody on Tuesday night, faced two counts of conspiring in and instigating robbery. Prosecutors were scheduled to present the case at Eastern Court on Wednesday.
Chan said it appeared the five boys were friends. They were suspected of robbery and attempted robbery, but were released on bail pending investigation. The group would need to report to officers in January.