Guard shot as cash-box alarm thwarts gunmen

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 September, 1997, 12:00am

Gunmen shot a security guard in the neck and face before snatching a cash box containing $1.68 million outside a Jockey Club betting centre in Ma On Shan yesterday.

But they were forced to abandon their haul, fleeing empty-handed after the alarm activated on the booby-trapped cash box about three metres from the guard.

Detectives are investigating whether the robbery was linked to three other robberies, including two raids on a Tsuen Wan Jockey Club betting centre in the past three years, which netted a total of $3.5 million.

Two security guards were also robbed in Tsuen Wan of $800,000 they were carrying this year.

Acting Senior Superintendent Mike Howard (New Territories South) said it appeared 'the Jockey Club was targeted' and the methods used were very similar.

'It happened in the same premises [a Jockey Club], the same security company and same [number of] men,' he said.

Yesterday's robbery took place at about 5 pm as two Securicor guards descended a staircase to their van after collecting $1.68 million from the third-floor betting centre at Heng On Estate shopping centre.

The two guards - one carrying the cash box and the other armed with a Remington shotgun - were attacked from behind by two men armed with pistols, as they walked towards the third-floor staircase.

'The robbers pointed their pistols at the two guards and ordered them to open the cash box. One of the guards put up his Remington to struggle but was shot. His shotgun was also snatched,' Superintendent Tommy Chau Shiu-keung said.

'The pair fled with the cash box and the shotgun. But they were forced to dump the cash box after they failed to open it and its alarm was activated about 10 feet away from the guards.' The shotgun was recovered on the second-floor staircase.

Security guard Yuen See-cheung, 45, was in poor condition last night at Prince of Wales Hospital with bullet wounds to his neck and face.

The gunmen, thought to be aged between 30 and 35, were of dark complexion and about 1.6 metres tall. One wore a blue T-shirt and dark trousers.