Robbers take $2m in gold bars during raid on shop

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2003, 12:00am

Robbers yesterday broke into a Yau Ma Tei goldsmith's shop, tied up the owner and his wife and spent more than half an hour carting off gold bars worth up to $2 million.

Police described the robbery as a well-planned raid.

'They broke into the sixth-floor unit, tied up the man and his wife, pushed them into a small room and kept them inside. As the safe was already open in the office, the robbers managed to take every gold bar inside the unit,' a police officer said. 'I can't say whether it was by luck or planning that they happened upon an open safe, but they appeared to be people who knew what they were looking for.'

The goldsmith, 45, and his wife, 44, arrived for work in Jordan Road at about 7.30am yesterday. The man had opened the safe and was taking out some gold bars when the woman answered a call.

She locked the first door to the unit behind her and answered the main door. When she opened, two or three robbers overpowered her. She told police the suspects, armed with 'hard objects', threatened to harm her unless the goldsmith let them in.

Once they were inside, they tied up the couple with electrical cords, gagged them and locked them in a small room. The robbers threatened to kill them if they tried to come out.

The men then took their time and searched for every gold bar they could find. They finally left with dozens of bars, mostly stored inside the opened safe, estimated to be worth up to $2 million.

The man managed to untie the cords but stayed in the room for more than 30 minutes until he could not hear any more noise. He then released his wife and set off the alarm. Yau Tsim District Crime officers have taken over the investigation.