A man stole HK$2,300 worth of cigarettes and HK$700 in cash from a Hong Kong convenience store during an armed robbery on Wednesday. Police have launched a citywide search for the suspect, who threatened a 46-year-old female employee at the Circle K store on Hung Tai Road in Yuen Long with a knife shortly before 3am. It was the second convenience store on the same street that has been targeted within three months. “The robber threatened an employee with a 15cm-long knife before fleeing with HK$700 and 40 packs of cigarettes worth HK$2,300,” a police spokesman said. Officers were called in when her colleague, a 42-year-old woman, who was in the storeroom at the time, saw what was happening and called police. Five guns, military-grade night-vision devices and ammunition seized in raids The suspect fled before officers arrived, and police said no one was injured in the incident. According to police, the robber was thought to be aged about 50, 1.65 metres tall, and was wearing a face mask at the time of the incident. On February 12, two masked men escaped with HK$11,000 and 13 packs of cigarette from another convenience store in Hung Tai Road. The force recorded a fourfold surge in the number of robberies across the city last year, with 44 cases in the first half and 166 in the second. There were 147 cases in the whole of 2018. Police believe criminals have taken advantage of the city’s social unrest to carry out robberies. The force stopped foot patrols last August because the force was tied up with the anti-government protests that erupted last June in opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill. As the scale of the protests shrunk, police once again resumed foot patrols in March.