TEMERLOH - It took four parang-wielding robbers less than three minutes to scoop up RM3.2 million (S$1.25 million) worth of jewellery from a goldsmith's shop in Mentakab near here yesterday.
The robbers surprised the outlet owners, who had just arrived to start business about 9.30am, when they forced them to open the front door before entering the premises.
The owner's son, only identified as Lo, said he and his parents were at the entrance of the shop when four suspects wearing ski masks and armed with parang alighted from two cars before running towards them.
"They demanded we open the front door before barging into the shop. One of the robbers held a long parang near my neck and ordered me to open the office door and safe. We were helpless and I knew that we had to cooperate or we would be harmed."
The 27-year-old said the robbers scooped the jewellery within minutes before escaping.
Lo said the jewellery stolen included the latest collection his father had ordered recently for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.
The owner has been operating at the outlet here for more than 20 years and yesterday was the first time it was robbed.
Temerloh district deputy police chief Superintendent Zundin Mahmood said four suspects had gone into the premise while two others waited in getaway cars.
"Investigations revealed the suspects sped off towards the Temerloh tol plaza and efforts to trace them based on the car registration numbers proved futile as both cars were stolen vehicles.
"We set up road blocks at several exit points and are working closely with our counterparts from neighbouring districts.
"We believe the suspects had been closely monitoring their victims' movements before striking," he said, adding that police were looking closed-circuit television camera footage obtained at the premises.
On June 21, six men hit a goldsmith outlet in Karak, Bentong, before escaping with RM400,000 worth of jewellery.
The suspects deployed a similar modus operandi when they entered the premises shortly before it was to open for business and forced the owner to empty the trays of jewellery kept in a strong room.