Credit cards

Former sergeant who stole colleague’s credit cards to buy iPhones once thought about suicide, court said

A 36-year-old former sergeant who stole a colleague’s credit card twice to buy three iPhones told district court on Friday that he had already thought about killing himself with his son.

Johnny Lau Chun-ning had previously pleaded guilty to six counts of theft and obtaining property by deception in the district court.

Lau stole two credit cards from Hang Seng Bank that belonged to his colleague Leung Lok-lun between February 11 and 25, 2019. He first spent HK $ 11 at a McDonald’s store in the Good Hope Building in Mong Kok on February 28, 2019, then purchased three iPhone XS from the Apple Store in New Town Plaza in Sha Tin and the one on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui between February 26 and March 2, 2019.

In mitigation, the defense said Lau was stressed by his father’s medical bill, who was injured on the job, as well as the promotion to sergeant. Lau committed the crime because he did not handle the pressure properly and refused help from others, the defense continued.

The defense added that Lau had already bought charcoal and put it in the car, trying to kill himself with his son. He only gave up on the idea when he realized his son was innocent.

The defense hoped that the court would allow Lau to serve all of his sentences simultaneously and suspend his sentences on an exceptional basis.

Lau will be sentenced next Thursday (December 23).

Lau admitted to the Summary of Facts that he first stole Credit Card A from Leung’s locker and used the card twice at McDonald’s on a trial basis. After Leung got the replacement credit card B, Lau stole the new card and returned the old card to Leung’s wallet.

Lau then used Credit Card B again at McDonald’s before purchasing three iPhone XS at two Apple Stores. Leung discovered that someone was using Credit Card B and deactivated the new card. Lau then exchanged the deactivated credit card B for the original card A.