Shots Fired During Robbery at Jewelry Store in Westminster

Two masked men smashed display cases at the store and went straight for expensive watches, police say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police were trying to find robbers who held up a jewelry store in Westminster Thursday afternoon. One or more of the suspected robbers might have been bleeding, possibly from bullet wounds. Vikki Vargas reports from Westminster for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. (Published Thursday, Aug 21, 2014)

    Police were searching for at least two people who robbed a jewelry store in Westminster, then scattered after someone opened fire Thursday afternoon.

    The robbery was reported around 12:25 p.m. at the Asian Garden Mall in the 9200 block of Bolsa Avenue, according to the Westminster Police Department.

    Two men in black jackets and hoodies went straight for the expensive watches at the Tick Tock Luxury Boutique jewelry store, police said. They wore masks and had guns.

    "They had a hammer and started smashing some of the display cases and attempted to steal some Rolex watches and other miscellaneous items," said Westminster Police Department spokeswoman Rachel Archambault. 

    The robbers ran away after shots were fired, but authorities would not say how much they took with them. 

    A witness said the robbers got away with a heavy-looking backpack.

    All of the gun casings were found inside the store. Police said they are trying to determine whether the store owner or the robbers opened fire.

    Police found blood spots in a nearby parking lot, where they believe the men escaped by getting into a dark-colored Chevy Express van. The van, which police said was stolen from Inglewood, was dumped a few blocks away.

    Witness Lieu Tran saw the men getting into the van and told NBC4 through a translator that one of the men got caught on the door briefly in an "awkward" moment.

    Police are now looking for another getaway vehicle, which they described as a silver or white minivan with black paper plates that have red writing on them. 

    The jewelry store has been robbed in similar incidents in July 2012 and September 2013, police said. Each time, the store owner was able to get his gun and open fire.