Jewelery strong-armed from Hong Kong salesmen

Two jewelry salesmen from Hong Kong were allegedly robbed near their hotel in South San Francisco after visiting jewelry stores on the Peninsula, an attack similar to one at the same hotel in January.

Police said the two salesmen were robbed by three Hispanic men Wednesday night at the rear parking lot of the Holiday Inn at 275 S. Airport Blvd., where they had been staying for a week.

South San Francisco police Detective Ken Hancock said the victims were most likely followed from their last place of visit, a jewelry store in San Jose.

“This wasn’t a random attack, not some guys getting lucky,” he said. “The carriers deal with a select clientele and they are watched from the jewelry stores that they go to.”

When the victims parked their rental car near the hotel, a dark-colored four-door sedan parked behind them blocking them in, according to a police press release. Before the salesmen had a chance to get out of the car, the suspects pinned them to their seats, and took the black leather bags containing gold and diamond jewelry of an undisclosed amount.

A similar robbery occurred in January in the parking lot of the same hotel: four Hispanic men allegedly mugged two Chinese jewelry salesmen who were on the way to the airport. The salesmen did not have any jewelry in the car, but the suspects stole some of their luggage worth $4000, according to police.

Hancock said the suspects involved in the two case are probably not the same people, but may be involved in the same ring.

“A lot of the cargo thefts of high-end items are done by rings from South America,” he said. “They are very good at what they do. They can be in San Francisco one day and in Houston another — they travel all over, that’s why it’s hard to catch them.”

One of the three suspects is described as between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8, slim built, wearing dark clothes, but police don’t have descriptions of the other two suspects.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call South San Francisco Police Department at (650) 877-8900.

svasilyuk@sfexaminer.com

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