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Hammering jewel robber in custody

A MAN suspected of using a hammer to rob a jewelry store of 19 gold necklaces was caught yesterday in Anhui Province and will be escorted back to Shanghai today, city police said yesterday.

The man, surnamed Shen, allegedly smashed a counter's glass with a hammer on Sunday night and fled with 19 necklaces worth about 30,000 yuan (US$4,400). He was discovered in his house in Shouxian County.

The man, wearing a blue-and-white striped top, rushed into a Yayi Gold Store outlet in a Tangxi Street shopping mall in Baoshan District about 7:45pm and smashed the counter with the hammer.

Customers initially thought it was a glass door breaking but soon started shouting "robbery."

Threatening attendants verbally, the man took the 19 gold necklaces and ran out of the mall before heading south in narrow twisting lanes.

Several witnesses, including shop assistants, said the man had tried unsuccessfully to rob the store 20 days earlier.

"He hit the counter with wooden hammer, but the hammer broke," the Oriental Morning Post cited an unnamed source.

The Shanghai Gold & Jewelry Trade Association has advised its members to remind clerks to use the alarm buttons under counters.


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