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Crime in Hong Kong

Nine more suspects arrested over HK$23.1 million smash-and-grab raid on July 1 in Hong Kong, bringing total number to 13

Hong Kong police worked with Shenzhen officers and mainland authorities to recover 12 luxury watches and other items alongside HK$1.74 million in cash

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 July, 2018, 12:12pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 July, 2018, 11:22pm

Nine more suspects have been arrested over a HK$23.1 million (US$2.9 million) smash-and-grab robbery in Tsim Sha Tsui, following a joint operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen police.

On Sunday, authorities said 12 luxury watches and other items were recovered along with HK$1.74 million in cash from Longgang district in Shenzhen.

According to Hong Kong police, 33 luxury watches and six bracelets were stolen from VIP Watch & Jewellery store on Haiphong Road on July 1.

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The three male robbers, armed with a hammer, knife and retractable baton, were said to have smashed a glass display cabinet in a raid that lasted less than 90 seconds.

The new arrests came after Hong Kong police first detained three men and a woman in relation to the case between July 5 and July 10, bringing the total number of arrests over the robbery to 13.

The latest nine were picked up in separate incidents – on Tuesday, Shenzhen police arrested two Hong Kong men and a woman from Hunan. Officers recovered some stolen goods and cash on one of the men and also at the place he was staying.

Mainland authorities then detained a third Hong Kong man and another from Hainan Island in Shenzhen before Friday.

Hong Kong police said the three local men arrested in Shenzhen, aged 36 to 40, were thought to be core members of the robbery group.

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On Thursday, a man and three women – all from the New Territories – were arrested by local police on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

They were suspected of transporting 21 stolen watches to mainland China via Macau.

Police said the four detained on Thursday were granted bail and were set to report to authorities later this month.

Officers said the owner of the jewellery shop would be accompanied by Hong Kong police to Shenzhen to identify the 12 watches recovered on Tuesday.

“Hong Kong police thank the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau for its help. This case shows Hong Kong and mainland authorities’ determination to fight crime in cooperation,” local authorities said.

Tsim Sha Tsui, a bustling shopping district in Hong Kong, has seen at least 14 robberies in the past 16 months, including four smash-and-grab jewellery raids.

The spate of cases has prompted major jewellery chains to strengthen shop security.