A citywide manhunt is under way for an armed smash-and-grab gang that emptied the counters of a Hong Kong goldsmith in one minute flat on Thursday, before calmly walking to a getaway car.
Video circulating online showed three black-clad men – two with sledgehammers and one with a knife and a nylon bag – enter the Yan Jewellery Co. in Wong Tai Sin at 10.38am after getting out of a black vehicle.
The two with sledgehammers proceeded to smash the display counter glass repeatedly as their accomplice threatened three female employees with the knife. No customers were inside at the time.
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After breaking the counters, security camera footage showed, the trio snatched gold jewellery valued at more than HK$1 million (US$130,000) and stuffed it into the nylon bag.
The men then ran out of the Tseuk Luk Street shop and jumped into a black getaway car driven by another suspect. Staff then called police.
A police source said the gang fled towards Choi Hung Road.
The city has recorded a sharp rise in robbery reports this year. Police figures show there were 186 robberies in the first half of 2020, up 322 per cent from just 44 in the same period last year.
Two weeks ago, a smash-and-grab gang made off with about HK$1 million worth of valuables from a jewellery store – also in about a minute – the city’s fourth hold-up of its kind in three months.
The robbery, at the Ki Fook Jewellery and Gold store on Wo Fung Street in Fanling, happened soon after 9.30am as two masked men carrying a knife, a sledgehammer and a red-and-white nylon bag entered the shop.
According to police, three employees and a female customer were in the shop at the time.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Hong Kong police hunt three armed suspects after latest daylight smash-and-grab jewellery store robbery
- Hong Kong police hunt smash-and-grab robbers who stole HK$1.1 million worth of jewellery from Tin Shui Wai store
- Daring daylight robbery sees gang make off with HK$3 million in gold from Hong Kong jewellery shop