Eric Jackson was putting his shopping bags into a friend's car Thursday outside the Beverly Center when he was pistol-whipped by a man who demanded his $30,000 Rolex.
"He told me to take my Rolex off," he said the man demanded. "It took me a minute because I don’t have long fingernails to relax the grasp on it. And he was like he was going to shoot me if I didn’t hurry up. And I told him it was going to take me a minute because I don’t have a nail so then he waited for a good 30 seconds while I tried to get it off and then I gave it to him and he ran up the stairs in the mall."
Police arrested the suspect just before 2 p.m. after a search.
Torin Martinez witnessed it all said he saw two men in a scuffle at the bottom of an escalator.
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"I didn’t really know what was going on," he said. "I realized what I was walking into was the guy was trying to rob someone else."
The suspected robber ran off with Jackson's watch before police caught up to him and arrested him.
Jackson thinks he handled it well, but knows it could have ended badly.
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"I should have just given him my stuff," he said. "My life is more important than that."
Police had increased patrols in the area due to a recent rise in armed robberies. They said that extra patrol, and cameras from the Beverly Center, quickly led them to the suspected robber.
Police are now looking into the possibility that he may be connected to other crimes.