Police have arrested three Colombian men on suspicion of robbing a jewellery store in Central with hammers. One suspect was arrested near the scene, whilst two others – aged 38 and 45 – were arrested at the Shenzhen Bay border when trying to leave, according to Apple Daily.

The robbery occurred at around 11:15 at the Treasure Jewellery store at 16 Wellington Street in Central. The suspects used hammers to smash the external windows, creating two large holes before making off with around HK$40 million worth of jewellery in under a minute.

Central jewellery hammer robbery

Chief Inspector of Crime Hong Kong Island Regional Crime Unit Sin Kwok-ming said the trio escaped from Wellington Street towards Wai Tak Lane and then on to Lan Kwai Fong.

One suspect was caught by armed Emergency Unit officers who rushed to the scene. “The arrested man was a tourist entering Hong Kong using a passport,” Sin said on Monday afternoon.

Central jewellery hammer robbery

“I must stress that we have recovered most of the stolen items,” Sin added, but did not elaborate on the value of the items that remained missing.

Sin denied that there was a trend of foreigners committing crimes in Hong Kong. He added that police had found two iron hammers, clothing and gloves nearby.

Central jewellery hammer robbery

Ms Lam, a staff member at a nearby flower boutique, said she heard three instances of glasses being broken.

Central jewellery hammer robbery

“Recently there was a demolition of the building on the opposite site, I thought it was the noise from there – but it was in fact the robbery, there were two or three seconds between each loud bang,” she told Apple Daily.

Five similar robberies have taken place over the past 14 months, including two occurring in the past two months alone.

Central jewellery hammer robbery
A bag left by the robbers.

On March 9, windows at a goldsmith’s shop in Sheung Shui were smashed as robbers took HK$100,000 worth of gold ornaments.

Central jewellery hammer robbery
Photo: Andrew Leyden, via Twitter.

On February 6, three robbers used a hammer to smash the display window of a shop in Yuen Long. They took off with 60 watches worth more than HK$1 million in less than 30 seconds.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.