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Crime in Hong Kong

Gang ‘prised open shutters and used sledgehammers to smash cabinets’ in latest raid on Hong Kong jewellery shops 

Four masked robbers stole more than HK$200,000 worth of gold ornaments and jewellery from store in Tai Po

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2018, 2:12pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 April, 2018, 1:49pm

A gang of four masked robbers stole more than HK$200,000 (US$25,470) worth of gold ornaments and jewellery in the latest in a spate of smash-and-grab raids in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

A police source said three men prised up the rolling shutter of Wing Hing Lung Jewellery store in Kwong Fuk Road, Tai Po before “one of the men used a sledgehammer to smash open two glass cabinets and the other two grabbed valuables”.

“The trio ran out of the shop and jumped into a white getaway car driven by a fourth man. It took less than two minutes,” the source said.

A passer-by saw the men fleeing and called police at 4.30am. The shop was fitted with an alarm system that did not ring on site but silently alerted a security company which called police.

The police source said other expensive items of jewellery and gold ornaments were locked in a vault.

The raid was the city’s seventh smash-and-grab theft in 13 months. The previous six raids involved valuables worth HK$70 million and prompted two jewellery industry bodies to issue security alerts and advice to members.

The biggest case was on March 26 when the display window of a jewellery store in Central was smashed and HK$40 million worth of jewellery stolen. Three tourists from Colombia were arrested the same day.

On Wednesday night police arrested seven men in connection with the latest case.

Chief Inspector Lam Sze-yi of the New Territories North regional crime unit said 218 gold ornaments had been stolen worth more than HK$200,000 in total.

Five suspects – three Hongkongers and two mainland Chinese – were found in a warehouse in Tuen Mun. The other two were later picked up elsewhere in the northwestern town and in Tai Po.

A white seven-seater used as a getaway car was seized along with a hammer and screwdriver.

According to official statistics, police handled 163 reports of robberies across the city last year, down 37.3 per cent on the figure in 2016.