Manhunt under way after HK$9.1m luxury watch raid is foiled

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 December, 2013, 4:57am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 December, 2013, 6:40am

Two of three robbers were stopped in their tracks yesterday as they tried to make off with HK$9.1 million of watches from a luxury store in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The police are now searching for a 1.7-metre tall male suspect. The man was wearing black clothes, a black cap and a face mask during the robbery.

At about 12.30pm yesterday, the three men used a three-foot-long hammer to smash a display window in the luxury watch store. The shop is located on the ground floor of Champagne Court at 18 Kimberley Road. The men then grabbed 28 watches worth about HK$9.1 million.

Staff called police as the shop owner and an employee chased the men, stopping two of the suspects near the corner of Kimberley and Shun Yee streets with the help of passers-by.

The shop employee suffered minor injuries to his arm while trying to stop the men.

A 36-year-old local man and a 24-year-old mainlander were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Police said they found all of the stolen watches in a bag carried by the two suspects.

Sources close to the initial investigation said police believed the Hongkonger was the mastermind behind the robbery.

The mainlander, who arrived in Hong Kong last Saturday on a two-way permit, is understood to be employed by the Hongkonger. He was last night taken to the guest house where he had been staying on Yen Chow Street in Sham Shui Po, where a search was carried out. Nothing suspicious was found.

Both men were detained for further investigation last night.

It is unknown whether the third suspect is a local or a mainlander, or whether they were part of a larger criminal syndicate. Yau Tsim District crime investigation division is handling the case.

In August, an Oriental Watch outlet in an arcade at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile in Tsim Sha Tsui lost 240 Tudor watches with a total value of HK$6.5 million in a three-minute smash-and-grab. No arrest has been made in connection with that case, a police spokeswoman said yesterday.

On July 8, a jewellery store in Sheung Shui was raided by thieves using hammers carried in a shopping trolley. They made off with HK$500,000 worth of goods in one minute.