A police manhunt is under way for a smash-and-grab gang that made off with about HK$1 million (US$109,272) worth of valuables from a jewellery store in one minute on Tuesday – 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 inside the shop at the time.
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A video clip showed the customer appearing in shock and running out of the shop when one of the robbers smashed the glass in a display counter with the sledgehammer repeatedly. One of the employees was seen squatting behind another counter.
Two masked robbers brazenly walk into a Hong Kong jewellery shop on Tuesday (Aug 25), smash a display counter with a sledgehammer and steal HK$1 million worth of valuables before calmly heading to a getaway car. pic.twitter.com/sc22oHTspK
— SCMP Hong Kong (@SCMPHongKong) August 25, 2020
After breaking a hole in the counter, the pair, who wore gloves, snatched gold ornaments from the counter and stuffed them into the nylon bag, the footage showed.
The duo ran out of the shop and jumped into a silver getaway car that was driven by another suspect. Staff then called police.
Officers who arrived at the scene found glass fragments and the one-metre-long sledgehammer on the floor. Police said no one was injured in the incident.
A police source said it appeared the two robbers did not threaten staff with their weapons or give any warning before they started smashing the display counter with the hammer.
Dozens of gold necklaces were among the valuables stolen in the incident. “An initial estimate of the valuables stolen in this case is about HK$1 million,” he said, adding that the robbery lasted about one minute.
Officers combed the area, but no arrests were made. The two robbers who stormed into the shop were 1.7 metres and 1.8 metres tall respectively, and were wearing caps and surgical masks.
Detectives from the Tai Po district crime squad are investigating.
It was the city’s fourth such smash-and-grab robbery in three months.
On July 22, three masked men broke open the display cabinets and stole HK$1.1 million worth of valuables from the Sun Tung Shing Jewellery and Goldsmith shop on San Hong Street in Sheung Shui.
Earlier on June 2, a daring daylight robbery saw a gang stealing HK$3 million worth of valuables from a jewellery store in Tuen Mun, just five minutes after employees pulled up the shop’s rolling shutter and opened for business.
On June 16, four men wearing hoodies, masks and gloves stormed into the Far East Jewellery shop in Tin Shui Wai and stole HK$1 million in gold ornaments. Last month, police arrested seven men in relation to the hold-up.
The city has recorded a sharp rise in reports of robbery this year. Police figures show there were 186 robberies in the first half of this year, up 322 per cent from 44 in the same period last year.