Gem thieves struck on the eve of a twice-a-year jewellery fair, snatching a suitcase containing $2 million worth of jewellery from a guest room at a five-star hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui yesterday. While thefts have occurred at Jewellery and Watch Fair events in recent years, yesterday's raid is believed to be the first burglary of a fair exhibitor before the event opened. The theft was discovered about 9.30am - half an hour after a South Korean businessman, 45, and his nephew, 34, left their 12th-floor Hyatt Regency room and went downstairs for breakfast. Police said a hotel worker, 32, investigated after he found the room's door prised open and no one inside. He called police and hotel staff alerted the two Korean guests at the coffee shop. 'A metre-long Samsonite black suitcase which was placed beside one of the beds, was stolen. It contains about 1,400 items, including necklaces, bracelets and diamond rings and their value is about US$260,000,' said Chief Inspector Chau Kwok-fai of Yau Tsim district crime squad. 'Initial investigations showed a hard object, probably a screwdriver, was used to pry open the door shortly after the two occupants left the room.' The hotel's closed-circuit video footage had been checked but it did not reveal anything suspicious. Police suspect the burglars fled via a rear staircase. It was possible that the two Korean men had been targeted and monitored by thieves after they checked in at the hotel on Sunday. The stolen items were to have been displayed at the five-day fair, which opens today at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.