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Crime in Hong Kong

Trio smash Hong Kong store window and flee with HK$1 million worth of watches in under 20 seconds

Police manhunt continues for masked robbers who raided Yuen Long store and threatened staff member

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 February, 2018, 1:26pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 February, 2018, 5:12pm

A citywide police search continued on Wednesday morning for three members of a smash-and-grab gang after they made off with more than HK$1 million (US$128,000) worth of second-hand watches in a raid that took less than 20 seconds.

The brazen robbery took place at a jewellery store on busy Yat San Street in Yuen Long, in the New Territories, at about 9pm on Tuesday.

A 34-year-old male staff member was still inside the shop when one of the three men smashed its window display with a hammer, and the other two grabbed the valuables, mostly Rolex watches, according to police. All three were wearing gloves, masks and hats.

Security camera footage showed the hammer-wielding perpetrator guarding the store entrance while his accomplices loaded the valuables into their rucksacks.

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“One of the robbers used a hammer to smash the display window and threaten the employee,” a police spokesman said.

The three robbers fled on foot before officers arrived. No one was injured in the incident.

According to police, the three men were of dark complexion, and the hammer-wielding man was about 1.7 metres tall. The trio’s faces were hidden by their masks, hats and hoodies.

By Wednesday afternoon, no one had been arrested.

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The incident is the city’s fourth smash-and-grab case since March last year.

In December, three masked men used a sledgehammer to break into a pop-up store for online luxury bazaar Guiltless in Central and fled with 15 designer handbags worth HK$1.44 million.

In September, three thieves fled on a motorbike with HK$24 million worth of jewellery after smashing a store window with hammers at the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of Chow Sang Sang Jewellery store on Canton Road.

Six months earlier, in March, a masked robber took just seven seconds to smash 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.