Workforce punched, kicked and weaponized a chair to battle off thieves armed with hammers for the duration of an attempted smash-and-get heist on Sunday at a jewellery retail outlet in the Bella Terra shopping center in Huntington Beach front.

The thieves bolted into Princess Bride Diamonds at 7821 Edinger Ave close to midday, police said. Four people today dressed in dark garments instantly applied a hammer to smash a screen circumstance, as seen in surveillance footage the shop shared in an Instagram tale.

The burglars had pulled into the outdoor mall’s parking lot in a Honda, explained an staff at a nearby retail store who declined to give his identify for basic safety factors. He claimed he noticed 3 or four men and women wearing ski masks and carrying hammers get out of the car or truck. A single of them was carrying a backpack with a camouflage print.

“As quickly as I noticed them get out of the vehicle, I understood they were heading to rob Princess Bride,” he claimed.

They came and went, he stated, in below a moment.

As the masked intruders ransacked the retail outlet, two personnel rushed at them and exchanged blows, knocking a person intruder to the floor, the video clip reveals. A further employees member carrying a chair ran toward the melee and struck one of the thieves with it as they attempted to flee.

“We fought again and are alright,” anyone from the store wrote in the intro to the Instagram video clip.”Fortunately they have been not in a position to get everything thanks to our wonderful team.”

Justin Lowrie said he was in a backyard garden in close proximity to the jewelry retail outlet when he and many other folks read the audio of glass getting smashed.

“Some of us ran, imagining the glass breaking was gunshots,” he claimed.

Brian Lam was operating at SomiSomi, an ice cream shop next to the jewelry retail outlet, when he read 3 loud noises, and then observed one particular man or woman putting on one thing masking his experience functioning south towards the parking lot. Lam later on peeked within Princess Bride and noticed at minimum two show glass show circumstances experienced been shattered.

Nobody was damage, according to a female who answered the cell phone at the jewellery store on Sunday afternoon.

A description of what, if everything, was taken was not immediately obtainable.

Another smash-and-get transpired about an hour later in Santa Ana, at Don Roberto’s Jewelry Store on the 1600 block of West 17th Road, Santa Ana Law enforcement Sgt. Maria Lopez said. 4 burglars managed to get $7,000 really worth of items from the business.

Later, police spotted a car suspected to have been associated in the Santa Ana theft, Lopez said. Three persons inside of were being taken into custody in link with the heist, and investigators have been looking for a fourth.

No goods was immediately recovered from the suspects or the motor vehicle they ended up in, Lopez explained. It was not distinct if the incidents in Huntington Seaside and Santa Ana ended up relevant.

Past month, at minimum two other Orange County jewelry outlets were hit with smash-and-grabs. Intruders used hammers to split open glass show cases at Kay Jewelers in the Westminster Shopping mall on April 4, and one more department of that retailer at the Brea Shopping mall on April 15. About $200,000 value of merchandise was taken in each individual of people heists.

As of mid-April, there were being at the very least 35 smash-and-seize jewellery store robberies in California considering that May perhaps of 2021 — a selection disproportionate to other states, mentioned John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Protection Alliance, an industry nonprofit business.

It’s not that California is a much larger state, he mentioned. He attributed the robberies to gangs.

“That’s way off the charts of becoming unconventional,” he mentioned. “It scares people today in the field.”

This is a building story. Far more information will be added when it gets accessible.