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East Bay jewelry store ransacked in brazen daytime robbery

East Bay jewelry store ransacked in brazen daytime burglary
East Bay jewelry store ransacked in brazen daytime burglary 03:39

NEWARK -- Newark police are looking for more than a dozen robbers who ransacked a high-end jewelry store across from Newpark Mall.

The brazen heist happened at Bhindi Jewelers located at 5944 Newpark Mall Road just before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

"Unbelievable. I was like 'no way is this happening here so close to home in Newark of all places,'" recalled attorney Quynh Chen, who runs a law office next to the jewelry store. "Shock and the fear of a bunch of people running inside smashing everything -- such a violent incident."

Newark police captain Jolie Macias said there are two locked glass doors at Bhindi that workers have to buzz customers in. She said the robbers used large hand tools to smash open those doors. Witnesses said roughly 12 to 15 men and women wearing masks and gloves stormed in.

"They were running out with armloads of jewelry," said witness Ken Wright.

Witnesses said people traveling in four separate cars took expensive watches, gold rings and diamond necklaces. They said there were so many items that some of the jewelry fell onto the ground as the robbers were fleeing.

"It was a lot. Just on the floor itself," Chen said.

Captain Macias said the company was still adding up the total loss. On Bhindi's website, the company showed off high-end products worth tens of thousands of dollars.

"Even a small piece could be thousands of dollars so I'd imagine it's upward of a very significant dollar amount," said Capt. Macias. "It is absolutely crazy and frustrating that it occurred in the middle of the day but they're also going to wait until the stores are opened and their cases are stocked."

Police said the robbers were gone in less than three minutes and officers recovered two vehicles connected to the robbery in neighboring Fremont. Both were reported stolen. Investigators were still looking for additional vehicles used in the crime.

"It was like a drive-thru at McDonald's. They basically got out of the car and got in the car waiting for them right here," Chen said.

"Too many people are just trying to steal instead of earn a living," Wright said.

The people working at Bhindi did not want to talk to the media. Police said no one was arrested as of Friday afternoon.

Newark police say that, despite this latest incident, robberies are down 10 percent this year compared to the same period last year in their city.

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