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Crime in Hong Kong

Hammer-wielding thieves smash head-on into delivery van in HK$6 million daylight robbery in Hong Kong

Two men ploughed into the van to intercept it, while three more robbers jumped from second car

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 7:11pm
UPDATED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 11:13pm

A gang of at least five thieves smashed into a delivery van and stole about HK$6 million (US$768,000) in a daring daylight armed robbery in Sha Tau Kok, on the border with Hong Kong and mainland China on Monday afternoon.

Two men ploughed a car head-on into the van to intercept it, while three more robbers leapt from a second car. One of the men used a hammer to smash the windows while another threatened the driver with a beef knife. A third man used an unidentified spray on the driver’s face.

The gang, all wearing caps and surgical masks, asked the driver and his son next to him for the location of the money and snatched HK$5.8 million in cash in a nylon bag. They fled the scene in the second car, leaving the first, which burst into flame soon after.

The incident happened near Man Uk Pin on the Wo Hang section of Sha Tau Kok Road shortly before 4.30pm.

A Government Flying Service helicopter failed to locate the runaway car, that was described as silver with “3269” on the licence plate. Police said they were searching for five Cantonese-speaking suspects aged between 20 and 40.

The driver, 63 and his 28-year-old son – who import and export products between mainland China and shops on Chung Ying Street, a bustling shopping area on the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen – were not injured. The father was taking money he had collected in Sha Tau Kok to urban areas to buy mobile phones for his employer, acting police superintendent Chan Yan of the New Territories North regional police headquarters said. Chan said police were trying to find out more about the background of his employer.

Investigators did not find any trace of fire accelerants at the car.

“There were two cars and five people involved. Their identities were hidden and they had weapons with a detailed division of labour, so we believed it was a very organised robbery,” Chan said.

There was a similar robbery in a nearby location on August 28, when a light goods van driven by a 64-year-old owner of a company was hit head-on by a car on Sha Tau Kok Road near Muk Min Tau – about 3.7km from the site of Monday’s incident. Three men wearing surgical masks approached the van with knives and pepper spray and fled after snatching a briefcase said to be carrying just bolts.

Chan said they were looking into whether the cases were connected.