A manhunt is under way after a daring daylight robbery that saw a smash-and-grab gang steal HK$3 million (US$387,000) worth of valuables from a Hong Kong jewellery store on Tuesday morning.
The robbery took place about five minutes after staff from the Tai Sang Jewellery and Goldsmith shop on Tak Ching Court in Tuen Mun pulled up their rolling shutter and opened for business.
Three employees – two men and a woman – were inside when two robbers carrying a sledgehammer and a knife rushed into the shop, according to police.
“The knife-wielding man threatened the staff with the weapon and the other used the hammer to smash the glass on two display counters, then he snatched gold ornaments from five to six trays, and stuffed them into a bag,” a police source said.
The pair, wearing masks and gloves, ran out of the shop and fled in a dark-coloured getaway car that was driven by a third man.
“Most of the stolen valuables were gold necklaces and gold bracelets,” the source said.
Officers combed the area, but no arrests were made. Police said no one was injured in the incident.
The sledgehammer used by the robbers was found inside the shop, where glass fragments were scattered on the floor.
As of noon, officers were checking CCTV footage to gather evidence.
In 2017 and 2018, there were a number of high-profile smash-and-grab robberies, prompting local jewellery and goldsmith shops to enhance security.
In September 2017, three thieves fled on a motorbike with HK$24 million worth of goods after smashing a store window with hammers at a Canton Road jewellery shop in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district.
In March 2018, police arrested three tourists from Colombia after they made off with HK$40 million worth of jewellery in a smash-and-grab in Central.
Tuesday’s hold-up was the city’s first major robbery in less than two weeks after the force again shifted officers from their normal duties to the 6,000-strong riot squad. The move came amid concerns about potential unrest tied to the pending national security law and upcoming anniversary of the start of last year’s anti-government protests.
The riot squad, set up last June to handle anti-government demonstrations, was partly disbanded in March as the protests quietened down amid the coronavirus pandemic. About 4,000 officers returned to their original posts at the time, only for the squad to be reassembled on May 24.
According to official statistics, reports of robbery across the city increased about fivefold to 122 in the first three months of this year, from 23 in the same period last year.
This article Daring daylight robbery sees gang make off with HK$3 million in gold from Hong Kong jewellery shop first appeared on South China Morning Post