A manhunt has been launched after a robber chased and stabbed a woman sales assistant as she ran into a busy road screaming for help.
He was part of a gang of four described as "cruel" and "professional" by police after they fled with more than of HK$400,000 worth of Chinese herbal medicine and leaving the woman bleeding on the road.
The gang pulled up in a van outside Tung Fong Hung store on Nathan Road near Dundas Street just minutes after the store had opened at 9am yesterday.
The two women sales assistants were stacking shelves when two men burst in wearing balaclavas, carrying large chopping knives and yelling "robbery".
A third man in a surgical mask and cap acted as lookout on the pavement, while the driver stayed put.
The pair took just minutes to stuff a nylon bag full of jars of cordyceps, a caterpillar fungus that is one of the most expensive items in use in Chinese traditional medicine.
Police said one of the women panicked and rushed out yelling for help. As horrified passers-by looked on, a robber went after her and stabbed her from behind, seriously wounding her right arm. The gang then jumped back into the van and drove off towards Tsim Sha Tsui.
The injured woman, aged 31, was last night said to be in satisfactory condition in Kwong Wah Hospital, Yau Ma Tei.
Chief Inspector Yu Hoi-kwan said initial investigations showed the robbery had been well planned and the van had false number plates.
"The robbers were cruel … they were professional and well-prepared. There has not been a robbery of this kind for a while," Yu said.
The shop confirmed five jars of cordyceps worth HK$410,000 were snatched. The manager said the jars were not as full as they seemed as newspaper was stuffed inside to minimise losses in cases of robberies.
Police said there were many witnesses and asked them to call officers on 2731 7200.