Police are hunting for three men who staged a smash-and-grab robbery in Tuen Mun, escaping with around HK$3 million worth of jewelry.
The crime happened in broad daylight at the Tai Sang Jewellery and Goldsmith shop on Tak Ching Court, minutes after the shop opened for business yesterday.
Police said one robber threatened one female and two male store employees with a machete at around 9.19am, while the other two used a sledgehammer to smash display cases to steal the gold jewelry inside. The robbers then fled by car, heading toward Rural Committee Road.
"Most of the stolen goods are gold rings, necklaces and bracelets," police said.
Police officers combed the area after receiving a report from the shopowner and are also examining CCTV footage, the sledgehammer and glass fragments recovered from the scene.
A witness, Yip, who works near the shop, said he heard the alarm ring during the incident and witnessed the three men escaping.
A number of high-profile smash-and-grab robberies have struck jewelry and goldsmith stores across the SAR in recent months.
On March 3, six people, including a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old secondary student, were arrested after stealing 30 pieces of jewelry worth HK$900,000 at a Kau Yuk Road jewelry shop in Yuen Long.
On December 2, three people fled in a private car along with HK$3 million worth of gold jewelry after raiding a Castle Peak Road jewelry shop in Cheung Sha Wan.
The trio, alongside four other accomplices, were arrested three days later while they were on their way to rob a jewelry shop in Hung Hom.
Separately, two men were remanded in custody after appearing in court on Monday for murder and robbery following the death of a woman, who was robbed of a gold necklace outside the Cheung Sha Wan wholesale vegetable market on May 24.
According to police, robberies across the SAR have increased more than five-fold from 23 between January and March last year to 122 during the same period this year.