Multiple suspects were at large Saturday following a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store in Manhattan Beach.
A dispatcher at the Manhattan Beach Police Department did not have an approximate number of suspects, but an eyewitness video played on ABC7 showed 11 people running out of Pasha Fine Jewelry at 217 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Police were called to the scene at around 6:58 p.m. Friday, where they learned multiple suspects entered the jewelry store, used hammers to break display cases and fled with miscellaneous merchandise, according to a department press release.
“We saw like eight people running out of the store with bags full of jewelry and then a man and woman chasing out after asking someone to call the police,” Hermosa Beach resident Skylar Weber told the Daily Breeze.
“It was crazy because the sun was out and there were so many people nearby that saw it happen,” said Weber, who was a few doors up waiting for a table at Simmzy’s, an area restaurant.
The suspects entered vehicles and fled southbound in an alley, police said.
At least three of the suspects were armed with what appeared to be handguns.
“This was not just a crime against a person or a business. This was a crime against our entire community,” Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano said. “An armed robbery in broad daylight in our downtown could have resulted in serious injury and death. To those who did it, please know MBPD is devoting every resource to catch, prosecute, and jail you.
“We’re going to add additional patrols in our downtown and throughout our commercial and residential areas. I want to assure the community that public safety is always your City Council’s No. 1 priority and the MBPD has our full support.”
Los Angeles County District Attorney George GascÃ³n, who is the target of a recall effort for policy reforms that many citizens and even some in his office have assailed as too soft on criminals, sent the following tweets on Saturday:
“These smash and grab burglaries are unacceptable and harm not only local businesses but the entire community. Our office vigorously prosecutes these crimes, especially those by repeat offenders or individuals with pending cases, who deserve to be held on bail.
“Our Organized Crime Division works directly with other law enforcement partners to investigate and charge these offenses so we can stop not just the burglaries themselves but the criminal networks behind them.”
Anyone with information about the robbery was asked to call Det. Ian Mikelson at 310-802-5121 or the Manhattan Beach Police Department’s Tip Line at 310-802-5171 for those who wish to remain anonymous.