advertisement

The owner of a Beverly Hills, California jewelry store that was robbed of millions of dollars worth of luxury watches and merchan

dise during a brazen smash-and-grab job in broad daylight this week said the suspects appeared to be young kids. 

At least five suspects targeted the Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday when they appeared to smash the storefront window and grab items on display, according to footage taken from passersby on busy Beverly Drive. 

advertisement

Shop owner Peter Sedghi said he was in his office when he and his staff heard what sounded like gunshots. 

“I screamed to my employees for everyone to hit the floor. I hit the panic button and went under my table,” he told Fox News. “I waited for the gunshots to stop. I grabbed my gun and I ran out.”

TWO LOS ANGELES COUNTY PROSECUTORS SUE GEORGE GASCON OVER DEMOTIONS AFTER OPPOSING REFORMS, LAWSUIT SAYS

Owner Peter Sedghi stands on the street in front of his boarded up shop, Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, Calif. Sedghi said he was in his back office when he heard what sounded like gunshots during a brazen smash-and-grab robbery. 

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

“They seem like young kids,” he added of the suspects. “Everyone’s really shook up.”

By the time he got outside, Sedghi said he saw the group fleeing the scene. They had to hit the tempered glass window around 14 or 15 times with sledgehammers to break it, he said. They made off with somewhere between $3 million and $5 million of merchandise.

The Beverly Hills Police Department told Fox News the suspects were wearing black clothing with face masks. They arrived at the scene in an SUV reported stolen from Long Beach and fled on foot, abandoning the vehicle. 

Investigators have not made any arrests and were not sure of the age range or genders of the suspects, police Lt. Giovanni Trejo told Fox News. 

“It’s very concerning in spite of all the efforts that we have put forward to combat and to prevent that, we still get these crimes, especially during the day,” he said. 

Sedghi said the thieves took items near the storefront window because they would otherwise have had to be buzzed in to enter the shop. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he stopped using armed security guards, he said. 

Pedestrians walk past a boarded up Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills. Los Angeles police are warning people that wearing expensive jewelry in public could make them a target for thieves a note of caution as robberies are up citywide. 

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

“Now we’re going to get an armed guard again,” he said. ”

Before reopening, the store’s inventory needs to be accounted for and a new glass window will have to be installed, he said. 

While the brazen robberies are concerning, Trejo noted that investigators have been able to solve the crimes in a timely manner. He cited the arrest of Ariel Maynor, who has pleaded guilty to killing Jacqueline Avant

, wife of legendary music executive, Clarence Avant, during a home invasion in December. 

Most recently, Beverly Hills detectives arrested several suspects and were looking for others on the run in connection with a series of robberies. In February, two gang members were each sentenced to a dozen years in prison for an armed robbery at a Beverly Hills restaurant where one customer was shot in the leg and a $500,000 watch was taken from another patron. 

Tuesday’s incident comes as Los Angeles County continues to see an increase in robberies, be it smash-and-grabs or the kind where thieves follow their victims home or secluded areas. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

On Tuesday, the LAPD’s top cop said robberies were up 18% from last year and that the city is seeing a 44% increase in robberies involving a firearm compared to 2021. 

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

He also warned that there was a “marked increase” of armed robberies where many victims wore expensive jewelry in public.