Suspects in Halloween masks steal $1.5M in jewels


(CBS) RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Two suspects wearing Halloween masks stole $1.5 million in jewels from a Riverside business on Saturday, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The heist occurred at Wholesale Jewelry Exchange at about 4 p.m., the station reported. The masked suspects also stole the store owner's vehicle and cellphone. The car was recovered a mile away in Colton.

Here's how it went down, according to police: Two armed men disguised as florists carrying flowers and balloons stormed the store and threatened to kill the owner before tying him to a chair. The suspects left the store with jewels, other precious gems and gold.

The owner, who remained tied up for more than two hours in a back room, was finally discovered by some friends.

Riverside Police Lieutenant Mark Rossi said police are searching for the suspects before they strike again, according to CBS Los Angeles.

 "This was a violent takeover and robbery, and to go to the extent of using a weapon and tying the [owner] down and ransacking the store...It's the type of crime we take very seriously and will devote the resources to apprehend them."