Business

California jewelry store hit by smash-and-grab robbers who snatched nearly $900,000 in merchandise

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A group of masked thieves ransacked a Southern California jewelry store Monday and made off with nearly $900,000 in merchandise, police said. 

The heist occurred around 12:20 p.m. at the Park Place shopping center in Irvine, 40 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, when three suspects dressed in all black and carrying what appeared to be plastic trash cans ran into the store, according to surveillance footage released by the Irvine Police Department. 

They used hammers to smash the display cases. They were seen taking the jewelry and placing them in the trash cans. 

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California smash-and-grab

Three suspected thieves were caught on security camera robbing an Irvine, California jewelry store, police said.  (Irvine Police Department)

No arrests have been made. 

California, like many states, has seen brazen smash-and-grad robberies in recent years, a trend that saw an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In January, U.S. Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., introduced a bipartisan bill to boost coordination between federal, state and local authorities to crack down on organized crime across the nation.

California jewelry store robbery

The suspects used hammers to get into the display cases and take nearly $900,000 in merchandise, police said.  (Irvine Police Department)

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“In my district, we see businesses victimized by organized retail crime nearly every week,” Kim told Fox News Digital at the time. “This cannot become our new normal.”

The Improving Federal Investigations of Organized Retail Crime Act would direct agencies to focus on how to assist state and local law enforcement in “compiling materials and evidence necessary for prosecution of organized retail crime” and “improve cooperation and information sharing” among federal law enforcement agencies. 

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