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Crime in Hong Kong

Thieves make off with HK$24 million in jewellery in daring Hong Kong smash-and-grab raid

Trio break open store window before fleeing on motorbike from busy shopping area

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 September, 2017, 12:50pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 September, 2017, 1:37pm

Three thieves fled on a motorbike with HK$24 million worth of jewellery after smashing a store window with hammers in one of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping districts on Tuesday.

The brazen smash-and-grab raid took just 10 seconds to execute and prompted local police to mount a citywide manhunt.

The robbers targeted the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of Chow Sang Sang Jewellery on the ground floor of Silvercord shopping arcade on Canton Road at about 10am.

Frances Lee King-hei, chief inspector for the Yau Tsim police district, said nine pieces of jewellery were stolen and the haul was worth HK$24 million.

She said the most expensive item cost about HK$10 million.

According to Lee, two of the robbers used sledgehammers to smash the display window before jumping on a getaway motorbike driven by the third man. The motorcycle, which had no number plate, sped off before officers arrived.

Lee said the trio left an empty suitcase and a paper bag at the scene.

The motorcycle was last seen turning onto Peking Road from Canton Road.

Lee said police were reviewing security footage to gather evidence and to determine if the gang had links to previous robberies.

Thief steals diamond worth HK$5 million from jewellery shop in Hong Kong hammer heist

According to police, the trio were believed to be non-ethnic-Chinese men. Two were wearing face masks and hats and the third a motorcycle helmet.

The men made their move soon after staff at the shop took the valuables from a vault and put them on display.

“The stolen property included a diamond necklace, jade earrings, a diamond bracelet and diamond rings,” a police spokesman said.

No arrests had been made.

The incident comes six months after a masked robber took just seven seconds to smash open a display window with a hammer and make off with a diamond ring worth HK$5.26 million from the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of 3D-Gold on Nathan Road in March.

That shop is about 500 metres from Tuesday’s crime scene.

The latest theft happened about 12 hours after officers from the Kowloon West regional crime unit foiled a robbery and arrested a gang of six men accused of targeting a watch shop on Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, on Monday night.

According to police, the six suspects in that case were two Hongkongers and four mainland men. The two local men were accused of being the masterminds.

Officers arrested the four mainlanders outside the shop before 9pm on Monday, seizing two stun guns and two knives.

The two Hong Kong men were arrested after being found in two cars parked on Kimberley Road and Science Museum Road. Police believed the two vehicles were meant to be used as getaway cars.

According to official statistics, police handled 102 reports of robberies across the city in the first seven months of this year, down 36 per cent on the 161 cases in the same period last year.