Los Angeles police warn against wearing expensive jewelry, citing would-be thieves

Los Angeles Police issued the warning after a smash and grab at a high-end Beverly Hills jewelry store

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Los Angeles police are issuing a warning to people who wear expensive jewelry, stating that thieves may target them.

The warning comes after a smash and grab robbery occurred at a Beverly Hills jewelry store on Tuesday, with the thieves taking $5 million worth of items.

"Over the last year there has been a marked increase of armed robberies involving victims wearing expensive jewelry while in public," a Los Angeles Police Department statement reads. "If it is visible, it can be a target."

Other advice given to individuals is to take a different rout home and "pay attention" to the individuals and cars around.

"If you think you are being followed, change your route and call the police," the statement reads.

HOLLYWOOD HILLS HOMEOWNER TARGETED IN ARMED HOME INVASION AS LOS ANGELES ROBBERIES RISE

Pedestrians walk past a boarded up Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Calif. 

Pedestrians walk past a boarded up Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Calif.  (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Citywide robberies are up by 18% compared to this point in 2021 and robberies with a firearm are up 44% compared to this point in 2021, according to the police department.

Following the incident on Tuesday, the Beverly Hills Police Department issued a similar message urging residents.

"The choice to wear expensive jewelry is ultimately theirs," Lt. Giovanni Trejo said.

Wes Bunker, 30, said that he isn't taking any extra precautions to stay safe in Los Angeles during the day, but that changes at night.

"Like at the club, you’ve got to keep your eyes out," he said.

CALIFORNIA JEWELRY STORE TARGET OF BRAZEN DAYLIGHT SMASH AND GRAB ROBBERY, STEAL MILLIONS

Shoppers walk past a boarded up Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Calif. 

Shoppers walk past a boarded up Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Calif.  (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Footage of the Tuesday smash and grab was posted on Instagram, and shows individuals in front of the shattered storefront window appearing to take items and fleeing the scene.

Brenda Nolan, 70, a Los Angeles resident, says she doesn't feel the need to take the extra precautions such as hiding her jewelry when in public.

"I can defend myself, even today at my age," Nolan said.

The owner of Luxury Jewels, Peter Sedghi, said that he heard what sounded like gunshots and told his staff to get on the floor. He also hit the panic alarm and grabbed his gun, but by the time he arrived to the front of the store, the suspects were fleeing the scene.

Owner Peter Sedghi stands on the street in front of his boarded up shop, Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Calif. 

Owner Peter Sedghi stands on the street in front of his boarded up shop, Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in Beverly Hills, Calif.  (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

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"I yelled at my staff, ‘Everyone get on the floor, get on the floor,’" Sedghi said. "We’re in the heart of Beverly Hills. Who thought this would happen in broad daylight?"

Fox News' Louis Casiano and the Associated Press contributed to this report