A 22-year-old man holding a Jordanian passport tried to rob a jewelry store in Central, but when the alarm went off and the doors automatically closed, he swallowed nine of the diamonds, police said.
The burglary alarm at a jewelry shop on Wellington Street was triggered at 2:26 p.m. on Thursday, hk01.com reports, citing Assistant District Commander (Crime) of Central District Cheng Dien-kit.
Police officers rushed to the shop, accompanied by the owner, a 32-year-old man surnamed Sheinfeld, and found a man hiding in the storeroom, while a 38-year-old shop female employee surnamed Chu was lying unconscious on the floor in another room, Apple Daily reported.
The suspect, identified as Mousa, contacted the shop two days ago via Instagram, saying he wanted to purchase diamonds, according to the shop owner, a 32-year-old man surnamed Sheinfeld.
Mousa entered Hong Kong as a tourist on Wednesday and went to the shop at 11 a.m. the following day, purportedly to meet with the owner. He stayed at the shop for 30 minutes and left after viewing some of the diamonds.
By around 1 p.m., Mousa returned to the shop while the owner was out for lunch and there were only two female staff around. He said he would wait for the owner.
At around 2 p.m., after one of the staff went out for lunch, Mousa suddenly attacked Chu, hitting her in the face and demanding the code for the two safes at the shop.
Chu complied and opened the safe inside the owner’s room. Mousa grabbed 17 diamonds but triggered the alarm in the process, prompting the main doors to automatically lock up.
Police officers recovered from the suspect eight diamonds weighing a combined 123 carats and estimated to be worth US$5.4 million, as well as US$8,000 in cash.
Footage from the shop’s surveillance cameras revealed that the suspect attempted to leave the shop but could not force his way out. He then was seen swallowing nine diamonds weighing a combined 180 carats and estimated to be worth US$6 million.
Police sources quoted by Apple Daily said the diamonds the suspect had swallowed were about the size of a human eyeball. Both the suspect and the injured female employee were sent to the Queen Mary Hospital.
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