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Smash-and-grab robbers hit El Monte store in broad daylight, $1M in jewelry stolen

Smash-and-grab robbers hit El Monte store in broad daylight, $1M in jewelry stolen
Smash-and-grab robbers hit El Monte store in broad daylight, $1M in jewelry stolen 02:36

Three suspects ransacked a family-owned El Monte jewelry store to the tune of an estimated $1 million and purportedly assaulted employees Tuesday afternoon in a brazen smash-and-grab robbery.

The robbery occurred at 1:15 p.m. at David's Jewelers, located at 10925 Main St.

"They had hoodies on, and they had the face coverings, so we couldn't tell what they were here for. But once we saw the hammers, we all became panicked," the owner, who did not want to appear on camera, told CBSLA.  

Security video showed the masked male suspects entering the store, smashing display cases and stealing jewelry. Employees could be seen throwing chairs at the suspects while they shovel jewelry into bags. The owner said his wife began pulling jewelry out of the cases so thieves couldn't grab it.

The family then chased the suspects out the store and onto the sidewalk. A security camera showed them fighting with the suspects in an attempt to get the jewelry back.

"I punched one of them, I got them outside, and I was kicking him, and that's when I got hit with a hammer," the owner said. "I got hit with a hammer in the face."

The owner said his wife was also struck by a hammer and suffered a chipped tooth, and his daughter's hand was cut by shattered glass. None of them were seriously hurt. 

Following the robbery, the suspects fled in a Chevrolet Avalanche, police said. The car was last seen on the westbound 10 freeway.

"I was mad this was happening," added the owner. "I couldn't believe it was happening."

The financial value of the jewelry and gold stolen was estimated at about $1 million, police said. Investigators are looking into whether this crime is connected to others in the area. 

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