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Police searching for 5 suspects in brazen smash-and-grab robbery in Beverly Hills

Thieves stage brazen smash-and-grab robbery at Beverly Hills jewelry store 02:58

A jewelry story in Beverly Hills was hit in a smash-and-grab robbery Tuesday, and police were searching for five suspects.

The owner of Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills told CBSLA that the robbers breaking the front window sounded like gunshots. Mar. 22, 2022. CBSLA

The robbery occurred at about 2 p.m. at Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills in the area of South Beverly Drive and Charleville Boulevard, near Reeves Park.

The suspects shattered the front windows with sledgehammers and fled the scene with several items from the store, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department.

"Gunshots. I thought it was gunshots. I told everyone to get on the floor," the owner of the store told CBSLA.

A witness to the robbery and a nearby business owner himself, Wesley Aframian, jumped into action when he saw what was happening.

"So, I come outside and I see the guys banging on the windows with crowbars and sledgehammers, and they're right by me. There are maybe four, five or six guys. it's really hard to remember, and they all had axes and sledgehammers," Aframian said.

"I couldn't believe it. I was sitting there and I just heard, like, a pop. So, I thought it was a gun and I started calling for Peter, and I started pressing the alarm, trying to call 911 and I just look up and I just see them with sledgehammers, grabbing everything," said store employee Cindy Delaguerra.

The owners estimate that the thieves made off with about $5 million worth of watches and fine jewelry.

Beverly Hills police said the robbers got out of a gray SUV that has since been reported stolen in Long Beach and quickly went to work on the South Beverly Drive shop window. They then took off in a white Audi, which was waiting for them.

"I know Peter is allowed to carry a gun and I was yelling, 'Just shoot them.' I go, 'Just shoot them, I don't care,'" Delaguerra said.

"We shouldn't be on the news for, like, crime seen happening in Beverly Hills. This is really upsetting," said neighbor Rani El-Saadi.

"I think we need more officers walking the street," Aframian added.

While the incident was upsetting for nearby businesses and victims inside the jewelry store, Sedghi said he was keeping everything in perspective.

"I'm just happy that no one's hurt, that's all that matters. Honestly, these are like my family. My employees, they're like my family. So, as long as no one's hurt, it's fine."

The City of Beverly Hills does have extensive backup from a private security services that were hired for more than a year now, but some neighbors in the area said it's clearly not enough.

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