Chaos erupted inside a Southern California jewelry store when three people stormed inside and smashed jewelry cases as employees threw chairs and other items at the thieves.
The smash-and-grab robbery was caught on security camera video at about 1 p.m. Tuesday at David's Jewelers in downtown El Monte, about 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Video showed the robbers rush into the store and use what appeared to be hammers to smash glass jewelry cases.
Seconds later, employees threw at least two chairs, a trash can, calculator and other items from behind the jewelry cases.
The owner said he went to the back room of the store to get his gun, but then realized he had left it at home.
The store owner was struck in the eye with a hammer, according to a police report. His wife suffered a broken tooth when she was hit in the mouth.
The robbers yanked trays of jewelry from the cases and ran from the scene, but not before a brief scuffle outside the store.
"I punched one of them," the owner, who asked not to be identified, said. "I grabbed him outside. I was kicking him, and that’s when I got hit with a hammer in the face.
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"I hadn’t realized my wife got hit, too. She got hit with the hammer inside."
No arrests were reported Wednesday.
At least one customer was in the store.
The owners said the thieves took off with about $1 million worth of gold jewelry, including bracelets, charms, rings and other merchandise.
The store asked for help in finding the attackers in a Facebook post that included the security camera video. The post included photos of the robbers' four-door black truck.