Reporting Andrea Menniti
STOCKTON (CBS13) – Three men shot what’s believed to be pepper spray into the air before they started smashing jewelry display cases at a Stockton mall on Monday afternoon.
It happened just before noon at DeVons Jewelers in the Lincoln Shopping Center.
At least two glass jewelry display cases were shattered. The thieves got away with three Rolex watches and several display rings, the sheriff’s office said. The total value of the stolen items wasn’t available.
“They gave some commands to the patrons and sprayed an unknown substance in the air,” said Lt. Todd Wright with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department.
One of the attackers also sprayed a customer in the face. Then, the robbers smashed cases and grabbed the pricey jewelry before taking off.
“We know they were three males, but they had their faces covered,” Wright said.
Not long after the attack, deputies discovered what’s believed to be the getaway car, a 2007 black Cadillac STS ditched a few blocks away on Vicksburg just north of Stanton in the pristine Lincoln Village neighborhood. The car was reported stolen out of Richmond.
Debbie Greenberg arrived at DeVons to pick up items shortly after the robbery and was shaken by the news.
“I think it’s terrible,” she said. “I could have been in there an hour ago so I’m glad I arrived a little late,” she said.
Detectives spent much of the afternoon searching for clues and examining what appears to be a sledgehammer. Deputies canvassed the neighborhood but didn’t turn up anything.
“I was surprised it is the middle of the afternoon, so that’s a pretty brazen attack,” Wright said.