California burglars use hammers in Beverly Hills jewelry robbery

Beverly Hills business owners and residents are on high alert after millions of dollars worth of high-end jewelry and watches were stolen in a brazen daylight robbery where suspects used hammers Tuesday.

Police say at least five masked suspects wearing black and gray hoodies walked through the thick tempered glass window of Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills located at the 200 block of South Beverly Drive around 1:45 p.m.

The burglary was filmed by several passers-by. In one video, a driver driving past the jewelry store recorded the suspects grabbing items from the shattered window.

Peter Sedjhi, owner of the jewelry store, told the Post he was in his office when he heard what he first thought were gunshots.

“I said to my employee, ‘Get down on the floor,'” Sedghi said. “As soon as I heard what I thought were gunshots, I grabbed my gun. First, I made sure my employees were okay. Then I walked out, but they were already gone.

The crime scene at a Beverly Hills jewelry store.

Sedghi said it took the suspects eight or 10 times to hit the tempered glass with the sledgehammers before they could finally break it.

Sedghi estimates the burglars stole items worth between $3 million and $5 million.

The suspects then fled on foot into the alley behind the store and drove away.

“We sell high-end jewelry and watches, so they took big diamonds, big necklaces, Rolexes, Patek Philippes… they knew exactly what to take,” Sedghi said. “Thank God no one was hurt.”

Beverly Hills Police Department spokesman Lt. Giovanni Trejo told the Post that the suspects arrived outside the jewelry store in an SUV that was allegedly stolen in the Long Beach, Calif., area.

The suspects took off in another vehicle, but investigators are still trying to determine the make and model of this second vehicle. There may be other suspects waiting in the getaway car, Trejo said.

“The identification of the suspects at this stage is unclear, even their gender, for that matter,” Trejo said. “They appear to be male, but we haven’t determined that yet. Because it was so quick and fast, it’s going to take some time to make sure we get to the right conclusions.

Burglars destroy and grab a jewelry store in Beverly Hills with a sledgehammer.
Burglars destroy and grab a jewelry store in Beverly Hills with a sledgehammer.

As the crime occurred in a busy area and during daylight hours, police are urging witnesses to present videos or any information related to this incident.

“You have all these five individuals who have the nerve to run to a place and commit this crime,” Trejo said. “This is concerning. People and residents should always be alert, especially when walking down the street. You never know what could happen, so you should always be alert to any danger that could compromise your safety. What I’d like people to do – if they’ve seen what happened or if they know of any information related to this crime – is call us so we can follow up. .

Trejo said detectives are still reviewing video footage from inside the store.

Monday’s smash and grab incident has put Beverly Hills and residents of nearby cities, including nearby West Hollywood and the Fairfax District, on high alert as robberies continue to increase.

Two reported gang members – Khai McGhee, 18, and Malik L. Powell, 21, were sentenced on February 15 to a dozen years behind bars for holding a man at gunpoint and him stealing his $500,000 Richard Mille wristwatch while the man was eating at Beverly Hills celebrity hotspot Il Pastaio on March 4, 2021.

A third man, Marquise Anthony Gardon, 41, was also convicted in connection with the case. to the March 2021 armed robbery.

Beverly Hills police last month arrested two men – Jeremy Hays and Ronald Christopher Mendez-Cantu, Jr, both 19 and a 15-year-old suspect for a series of 2021 robberies in the city and the vicinity of southern California. However, several suspects linked to these 2021 thefts remain at large.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore released statistics on Tuesday showing that robberies over the past year have increased 18% in the Los Angeles area.

Citywide robberies where firearms were used also saw an increase of 221 incidents from 2021, a 44% increase.

“Most concerning is that there has been an increase in the levels of violence used in these robberies and the frequency with which a firearm has been used,” Moore said.

New York Post

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