SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- Police in San Jose are investigating a smash-and-grab robbery and assault that happened late Monday morning at a jewelry store inside the Eastridge Center targeted for the third time since the fall, according to authorities.
The robbery happened shortly before 11 a.m., according to store employees. A total of nine suspects, all-male, burst into J. & Huss Custom Jewelry with sledgehammers in hand.
Police confirmed that officers responded to the strong-arm robbery at approximately 11:50 a.m. at the mall located at 2200 Eastridge Loop in San Jose.
The suspects proceeded to smash jewelry cases, robbing the store of tens of thousands of dollars worth of gold, diamond jewelry and watches that they stuffed in their pockets.
The suspects then fled the scene. Police said they remain at large.
The store's general manager showed KPIX surveillance video of the incident. The stunned sales employee -- who opened the door for the robbers -- is seen getting knocked to the ground and held down by the robbers until they finished the robbery.
"This is not just smash and grab. This is more than that. We need help. Something needs to be done," said the store's general manager, who only gave his name as Ali K.
A kiosk employee nearby shot the scene from the outside, showing how the salesperson did manage to get free at about the time the robbers ran out the
The kiosk worker said the violent robbery caused shoppers to panic.
"The people were afraid. Everybody ran. Some of them ran outside," he said.
Store employees cleaned up the aftermath and counted up the losses.
The robbery Monday was the third time thieves have targeted the business since last October.
"All of our savings are gone. We need support from the city. Insurance is giving us a hard time. Third time being a victim like this and I request Sam Liccardo do something. He has to take an action. We feel helpless," said Ali.
Police confirmed this is an active investigation. Authorities did not have any additional information on the incident at this time.
for more features.