2 Sought in Laguna Niguel Jewelry Heist

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. -- Authorities sought two robbers who stole about $30,000 in cash and a "substantial" amount of merchandise from a jewelry store in Laguna Niguel, Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department said Monday.

The holdup happened about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Pacific Park Jewelers, 27271 La Paz Road, Amormino said.

One robber simulated a gun in his pocket, Amormino said. The owner was tied up and duct tape was put on his mouth.

At the time of the robbery, the owner was just putting "high end jewelry" into the safe, which was open, Amormino said.

The owner, who gave his name as Joe, told KCAL9 the robbers "pushed me, they didn't shove me down, they pushed me until they brought me over here. I said, 'It's in the safe. Everything's in the safe. Jewelry, it's in the showcases.' I cooperated totally."

As one robber pushed him around, saying he had better cooperate or else, the other rummaged through the safe.

The robbers took money and jewelry from the safe, along with more jewelry from display cases -- and store security videotape -- then fled. The jewelry loss was "substantial," Amormino said.

The robbers were described as Latinos in their early 20s, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, with short hair in a buzz-cut. One wore a red jacket and the other a white jacket. No vehicle was seen.

Investigators asked anyone who may have seen the crime to come forward.  The store owner saw at least one passer-by looking into the store during the holdup.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the sheriff's department at 714-628 7170.

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