Central, Hong Kong Island. Photo: Google Maps

Police are hunting a middle-aged man who was caught on camera stealing a backpack from a sleeping cardboard scavenger in Central on Hong Kong Island in the early hours of Saturday.

The 66-year-old woman told police she woke at 4am outside a shop in Queen’s Road Central to find her backpack missing. It contained HK$1,500 (US$191) in cash, an identity card, a bankbook and a mobile phone.

Police checking video footage from a surveillance camera near the shop on Monday spotted a man leaving the area with a backpack. He was described as being heavily-built and dressed in a suit with a tie. The footage showed the man taking the backpack while the woman slept.

A post on Facebook, with footage captured by the surveillance camera, shows the alleged thief being caught in the act. The post has since gone viral, with at least 2,500 shares as of Tuesday, Oriental Daily reported.