A 50-year-old man from mainland China was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal from a fellow passenger using a box cutter on Tuesday.

At 2pm, a 58-year-old male passenger surnamed Lee, who was a passenger on a bus in Chai Wan on Hong Kong Island, found that his trouser pocket had been sliced open, news website HK01.com reported.

Suspicious that the man sitting next to him may have attempted to steal from him, Lee called the police.

Officers arrived and found three box cutter blades on the seat where the two men sat and on the bus stairs.

After an initial investigation, police suspected that the man from mainland China surnamed Cho, had attempted to steal Lee’s wallet but failed.

Cho was arrested for alleged attempted theft and for being equipped for stealing.

It is understood that when Lee, who is an off-duty bus driver, accosted Cho, they argued and Cho was only prevented from escaping by other passengers.

At least twice last year thieves used similar methods to steal items from bus passengers.

Two men from Hunan Province used cutters to slice open a passenger’s trouser pocket and steal HK$7,000 on a route 268X bus in August.

In another case in March, two men from mainland China tried to steal a wallet from a male passenger but were caught by police.