Hong Kong police are searching Friday for a man who robbed a Tsim Sha Tsui watch store of goods valued at HK$5.5 million (US$709,665) and shot an employee before fleeing the scene. Hong Kong had not experienced gunfire during a robbery in more than a decade.
The suspect, described by police as a “calm and savage” man in a gray suit, first entered the watch store Thursday afternoon, according to the South China Morning Post. He returned to the scene that night, clad in a wig and a surgical mask, and asked employees to show him nine watches worth HK$5.5 million. The man briefly displayed a credit card, then grabbed the merchandise and attempted to flee.
When a 57-year-old employee attempted to stop him, the suspect pulled a gun, police sources said. “The guy drew a pistol and fired a single shot without warning, from close range,” a source told the newspaper.
â€” Fion Li (@fion_li) March 12, 2015
The employee suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was taken to a Yau Ma Tei hospital. His condition remains unknown. Police recovered ammunition at the scene that's believed to be compatible with a pistol called a “black star," but an ongoing search for the man responsible for the attack has yet to produce an arrest. The last known Hong Kong robbery in which shots were fired occurred in 2004, when gunfire was reported during a theft at an outlet store in To Kwa Wan.
— ✡nna (@annatengx) March 12, 2015
The watch store robbery occurred less than two months after a teenage girl and two accomplices stole a diamond necklace worth HK$36 million (US$4.6 million) from a jewelry store in the city. The theft occurred in the same district as the watch store robbery. The teenager purportedly stole a key to a display case and took the necklace before any of the store’s employees noticed. The stolen jewelry contained more than 30 diamonds, according to Sky News.