Shocking surveillance footage shows California jewelry store workers fighting back after several smash-and-grabber robbers rush into the shop and attempt to make off with valuable gems.
FOX 5 San Diego obtained the video showing at least four individuals wearing hooded sweatshirts run into Princess Bride Diamonds, located in Bella Terra mall in Huntington Beach. One of the suspects uses a hammer to smash open a glass display case, as others rush in carrying backpacks.
But workers at the store quickly jumped into action, running toward the would-be thieves. The employees, including a brother and sister who work for their father who owns the store, begin punching and kicking the robbers. A third worker is seen grabbing a stool and knocking it over an intruder’s head.
At least two of the suspects swing hammers toward the employees while attempting to make their getaway before finally fleeing the scene, and the workers shut the shop doors as they run off.
"At some point while I was fighting them, one of them actually hit me in the head with a hammer, on the side of my left temple, but I didn’t even register it until after they left because there was so much like adrenaline going on," employee Dallas Baca, whose dad owns the store, told FOX 5.
He said his family has been in the diamond business for years, but this was the first attempted robbery he personally experienced.
"We had an idea that it could happen, but it’s always different when it actually does happen," he said.
His sister, Sarah Baca, said she was the one who picked up a chair to defend another worker, Lily.
"I picked up a chair and I hit the one guy in the head that was attacking Lily," Sarah Baca said. "I’m just glad everyone’s OK. I’m glad that our team banded together, and we were able to put up a fight and stop what was happening."
The employees said they called police after the attack. They were not immediately sure if the suspects managed to take anything from the store before they were forced out.
A worker at a different store in the mall said the incident left shoppers and staff alike on edge.
"We were kind of freaking out. Everybody was scrambling around, so I just told everybody to come in our shop," Kyle Sary, who works at a nearby surf shop, told FOX 5. "I guess they walked in the store, broke some things but the family fought them off, so good for them, right?"