An illegal immigrant from mainland China was jailed for seven years in the High Court on Tuesday after being convicted of four counts of theft.
The court was told that the 50-year-old man, surnamed Zhang, robbed seven female hikers with a knife in four robberies along nature trails from December 2016 to February 2017, Apple Daily reported.
It is understood that the defendant had only been released from prison in September 2016, just a few months before the first incident, after serving a six-year sentence for another robbery on a hiker in 2013.
The seven victims in the most recent robberies lost valuables worth a combined HK$91,000 (US$11,637), including a pair of diamond earrings worth HK$13,000, a necklace with a diamond worth HK$30,000, mobile phones, an Octopus travel card and cash.
The defendant asked for leniency, claiming that he had found the knives used in the robberies in the street and on hillsides near the trails and had not intended to hurt anybody. However, the judge did not agree.
Police were able to track the defendant’s movements and make an arrest after one of the victims got a GPS reading on her lost phone that had been activated in Lam Tin Park in Kowloon.
When the park was searched, officers found where the phone had been stashed, along with an Octopus card, Sing Tao Daily reported. The man was later arrested at Tuen Mun in the New Territories.