Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti reassured residents that the city is safe Saturday following Thursday’s robbery and shooting at a one of the city’s upscale restaurants.
“First and foremost safety is our top priority in Beverly Hills and criminal activity of any kind will not be tolerated,” Rivetti said in a statement. “I want the world to know that Beverly Hills is a safe community. We invest significantly in our police department to ensure our officers have every resource necessary to do their jobs effectively.”
Officers were called about 2:10 p.m. Thursday to Il Pastaio in the 400 block of North Canon Drive on a report of a robbery with gunfire, and arrived to find a woman who had been shot.
The victim was not the intended target, according to police.
“The female was at the location with two other people when three male suspects demanded property from another patron,” according to a Beverly Hills Police Department statement. “One of the suspects shot the female and the three suspects fled the location on foot.”
Witnesses told CBS2 that the suspects stole a man’s watch as he sat in the restaurant’s patio area at the corner of Canon Drive and Brighton Way. The watch was a rose gold Richard Mille RM 11-03 Flyback Chronograph estimated to be worth $500,000, and belonged to jeweler Shay Belhassen, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Belhassen said he was angered because the robbery was the latest of a series of similar crimes in the area in recent weeks and said he believes police aren’t doing enough about them. He told the newspaper that one of the perpetrators “ran and pulled a gun from his jacket pocket, grabbed me from the back of my chair, choking me and putting a gun to my head.”
Belhassen said he grabbed the gun and fought the robber to the ground.
The jeweler has offered a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the capture of the suspects and return of the watch.
The wounded woman, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, according to a BHPD captain.
A second person who “suffered physical injury during the incident” was treated at the scene, police reported.
“We are actively looking for suspects in this case, in cooperation with our law enforcement partners,” Rivetti said. “While similar crimes are also happening in other cities, our responsibility is to those who live in, work in and visit Beverly Hills.
“We will keep the community updated on this incident, but in the meantime, please rest assured that the Beverly Hills Police Department is taking every possible measure to ensure your safety and security.”
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