Caught on Video: 81-Year-Old Store Owner Fights Off Robbers

Surveillance cameras show a jewelry store owner who fought back against a pair of armed robbers

By Kim Baldonado and John Simerson
|  Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013  |  Updated 10:23 AM PDT
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A jewelry store owner in Sherman Oaks refused to stand by and watch as two men robbed his establishment. He fought back, and now authorities are hoping surveillance video will lead them to the robbers. Kim Baldonado reports

A jewelry store owner in Sherman Oaks refused to stand by and watch as two men robbed his establishment. He fought back, and now authorities are hoping surveillance video will lead them to the robbers. Kim Baldonado reports

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A jewelry store owner chased away a pair of hammer-wielding robbers from his Van Nuys shop, and police are asking for the public’s help to identify the two men who ransacked 81-year-old Chuck Lire’s store.

Armed with hammers, two men burst into the store near Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Riverside Drive and began smashing the display cases.

They made off with several watches, police said. But Lire, who has owned the store for more than three decades, wasn’t going to stand by and do nothing.

He ran out from behind the front desk and tried to stop them.

When asked what was going through his mind at the time, he said: "Nothing, that’s why. Had I been thinking, I don’t think I would’ve done it."

The heist was over in seconds, but numerous security cameras caught the robbery from several angles (video embedded below).

Lire has always had surveillance cameras scanning the store, but a few months ago, he said he decided to add several more.

"The area started to change a little bit," he explained.

The incident happened shortly before 4 p.m. on Feb. 2. Police released the surveillance video on Tuesday.

One of the men is described as Latino, in his late 20s, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, and weighing about 170 pounds.

The other man is described as Latino, in his early 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds.

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