A group of four or five young men armed with a hammer smashed cases at a jewelry kiosk at the Montebello Town Center Mall Monday evening, stealing an unknown amount of jewelry and escaping before police arrived.

The smash and grab burglary occurred around 5 p.m. at the mall located at 2134 Montebello Town Center Drive, adjacent to the Pomona (60) Freeway, according to Montebello police.

Officers were dispatched to the mall about 5:15 p.m., Montebello Police Department detective Sgt. J. Carrera said.

The sound of smashing glass initially sparked fears among some customers of an active shooter in the mall, but those reports were unfounded and Montebello police, along with the California Highway Patrol officers and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, checked stores for customers and employees who may have sheltered in place as a result of that report, according to Montebello police Lt. D. Kim.

The suspects were dressed in dark clothing, Carrera said.

All shops at the mall were closed for the remainder of the night.

Anyone with information on the burglary was asked to call Montebello police at 323-887-1313. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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