'Spider-Man burglar' charged over high-rise housebreaking in Australia

SYDNEY (XINHUA) - A man who allegedly robbed almost 50 apartment units by scaling the outside of the buildings faced court in the Australian state of Queensland on Monday (July 16).

The 32-year-old man, dubbed Spider-Man by the police, is charged with 49 counts of burglary and 16 counts of fraud after risking his life to access the high-rise homes.

"The risk is so high, you've got to be fairly confident in your own ability to be able to do it," Queensland Police detective inspector Marc Hogan said.

When one victim startled the burglar during a 2am break-in, he allegedly apologised before hurling himself over the 20th-floor balcony and scaling back down to the ground.

Police initially believed that the thief must have been using a master key to access the units, given how high off the ground they were.

It is alleged that wallets and credit cards were targeted during the break-ins.

"Obviously he couldn't carry a lot of things, so he wasn't scaling down the walls with TVs or things like that," Hogan said.

Police are still investigating the man's crimes and believe he may have committed other break-ins.