Employees of a family-owned Asian jewelry store successfully fought off a group of smash and grab robbers who were armed with hammers. Organized retail theft has become a massive issue since the lockdown-related nationwide crime spike began, but it has become a particular issue in California.
Four masked men who were dressed in all black stormed the Princess Bride Diamonds at noon on Sunday in a busy outdoor shopping mall in Huntington Beach. After smashing a display case, two employees, one of whom was a woman, fought back against the robbers and proceeded to beat them down.
Two more employees later joined in and the employees were able to successfully push the robbers outside the store. The organized thieves ultimately made off with very little and were only able to smash one or two display cases.
Family & staff of the Asian-owned Princess Bride Diamonds jewelry store at the Bella Terra Mall in Huntington Beach, Calif. successfully fought off a group of black robbers who were armed with hammers. pic.twitter.com/uveVRpkUq4
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) May 23, 2022
The suspects fled and no major injuries were reported, Huntington Beach police said.
An hour later, another smash and grab robbery occurred about 7 miles away at Don Roberto’s Jewelry Store in Santa Ana, police said. In that incident, four thieves took $7,000 in jewelry.
Two suspects were arrested in connection with the Santa Ana heist, though it is not clear at this time if the two incidents are related.
California recorded 35 smash and grab jewelry store robberies between May 2021 and April 2022, according to John Kennedy, who serves as president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance.
The state has had issues with organized retail theft in a number of other locations as well, including big box stores and pharmacies. San Francisco has been plagued by thieves casually filling up bags with merchandise and then walking out.
Theft of goods valued less than $1,000 is classified as a misdemeanor in California.