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Suspects Arrested in Two Separate Santa Monica Robberies Thursday and Friday

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By Jorge Casuso

August 16, 2019 -- Police arrested five suspects in two unrelated robberies that took place on the north side of Santa Monica within 24 hours of each other.

The first robbery, which took place at around 2:37 p.m. Thursday afternoon at Heist Jewelry in the 1200 block of Montana Avenue, was captured by a store security camera.

The video footage shows a masked man storming in and smashing a display case with a sledgehammer.

Montana Avenue jewelry store robbery
To watch surveillance camera video click here

The store manager, who is working behind the counter, rushes up and tosses the man out as a second man, who is about to enter the store also wielding a sledgehammer, backs off.

The manager then tussles with the first robber, ripping off his black hoodie and his bag, and the two men flee the scene. The video shows the owner returning with the hoodie and bag.

“They took nothing. they didn’t get anything," the manager of Heist told CBS2 in an off camera interview. "We heisted them, they didn’t heist us.”

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The store manager, who is shown rubbing his shoulder on the video, sustained minor injuries from the attack, and the suspects fled the area in an awaiting car, Cobarrubias said.

Following tips provided by witnesses who called the 911 communications center, police immediately located the car in the 1100 block of Wilshire Boulevard.

A felony traffic stop was conducted on the car and the three suspects inside were taken into custody without incident, Cobarrubias said.

A fourth suspect who failed to make it to the get away car in time was located by police in the area of Euclid and Idaho, police said.

Evidence of the crime was found, and the suspect was taken into police custody, Cobarrubias said.

Three of the four suspects are juveniles, police said.

The adult was booked for Conspiracy to commit a crime, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. The juveniles were booked with Conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery and assault.

The second incident took place Downtown at around 11:15 a.m. Friday, when a security guard in an armored truck opened fire on a knife wielding suspect, sending panicked shoppers on the Promenade ducking for cover.

The armed suspect attempted to stab the security guard who then shot at the suspect three times," Cobarrubias said.

The suspect fled on foot and was spotted in the area of the 1300 block of 3rd Street, Cobarrubias said.

Police immediately responded to the scene witnesses directed the officers to Parking Structure 4, where "a perimeter was set up and a systematic search of the structure and area was conducted," she said.

At around 12:10 p.m., Santa Monica Police Officers located the suspect, who was in possession of the knife used and money, Cobarrubias said.

"A money bag was found in the vicinity of the suspect," she said. "The suspect was positively identified as the perpetrator and was arrested."

All evidence was recovered by the Police Department, Cobarrubias said.
The security guard and the suspect were not injured in the incident.

Anyone with information on the armored truck robbery should call Detective Cooper at 310-458-8478 or Sergeant Christopher Skogh at 310-458-8992.

The department emphasized it was not an "active shooting" incident.

The area around the corner of Third Street and Arizona was cordoned off for several hours and some businesses went on lockdown, according to media reports.

A couple visiting from Rome told KTLA that they were inside Abercrombie & Fitch when they heard gunshots.

"We stayed there for an hour," Lorenzo Carlini told the station. "Very, very scared."

Anyone with additional information on the jewelry store robbery should call Detective Cooper at 310-458-8478 or the Watch Commander line at 310-458-8495 and refer to incident 19-99094.

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