The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is seeking the public’s help Saturday for information leading to the arrests of the robbers who stole sledgehammers and crowbars from The Home Depot store at the Lakewood Center Mall.

Approximately eight males entered the store at 7:46 p.m. Friday, walked directly to the tool isle and stole various sledgehammers, crowbars and hammers, said Deputy Miguel Meza of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

Store employees told Fox11 a group of up to 20 males from 15 to 20 years old pulled up to the store in up to 10 cars, put on ski masks on and began stealing sledgehammers and crowbars.

“We tried to stop them,” store employee Luis Romo told Fox11. “We closed the front entrance and they put their sledgehammers up and whoever got in the way, they were going to hurt them.”

The group threatened one customer, “but he got away,” Romo said.

The group possibly entered a red Mercedes-Benz with severe damage to the front of the vehicle to flee the scene, Meza said.

The theft of the sledgehammers and crowbars prompted fears they will be used in smash-and-grab robberies.

Anyone with information about the robbery is encouraged to call the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station at 562-623-3500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.

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