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Jewelry Store Managers Chase Down Theft Suspect

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The owner and sales manager at an Arden-Arcade jewelry store stopped a theft attempt themselves by chasing down and restraining a suspect who allegedly attempted to grab an expensive necklace and flee Thursday morning.

Aquamarine Jewelers sales manager Joshua Atkins said a man who posed as a customer asked to try on a gold necklace, worth $22,000, and then pretended to make a cell phone call while another man approached the door from the outside and asked to be buzzed into the store.

The second subject was wearing a bandana but stood facing away from the store, Atkins said.

“From my angle all I could see was the back of a person, waiting to be buzzed [in],” he said.

When Atkins hit the button to open the door, both men bolted away from the store, but Atkins and business owner Imen Nasrawi gave chase without hesitation.

“I knew it was a grab-and-run so instantly I took off after them,” Nasrawi said.

The second man hopped into a car and was able to escape, but the first suspect couldn’t outrun Atkins and instead turned to fight him. The physical altercation did not last long, Atkins said.

“I put him in a rear naked choke,” he said, adding that he is a mixed-martial arts (MMA) and Muay Thai fighting instructor.

Imen quickly helped subdue and restrain the suspect, identified as 19-year-old David Gibson, until deputies arrived to make the arrest.

The suspects may have picked a bad target for their alleged theft attempt: Imen has worked with Sheriff’s investigators in a sting operation to catch a man who tried to buy jewelry with a dead man’s credit cards, and the store hasn’t yet been robbed.

Gibson will face charges of grand theft. He bailed out of jail Thursday evening.

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