Man throws chair at employee during jewelry store robbery

LA VERNE, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) – Authorities in California are searching for robbers who stole $300,000 from a jewelry store and threw a chair at an employee.

Police are looking into whether it could be connected to another jewelry store heist from a few days ago.

Surveillance video from Rodeo Jewelers shows an explosion of glass as a white car plows through the front of the store.

It takes a few seconds for the four men inside to crawl out and start cracking the display cases open with hammers.

Then, for no apparent reason, the smash-and-grab robbery escalates into an assault as one of the men is seen on camera picking up a heavy chair and throwing it at the store owner.

The store owner reportedly suffered a head injury that required seven stitches.

“Oh my gosh, that’s such a boomer. I’m glad nothing worse happened,” said Jenny, a loyal customer who did not provide a last name.

Jenny is one of many people in the small community who are outraged that something so violent happened at the beloved family-run business.

“My friends and I are just praying that he just heals, not only physically but spiritually and mentally, everything they need is just to come back and continue,” she said.

While smashes and grabs are nothing new in Los Angeles, police say this type of crime is a bit of an anomaly in the town of La Verne.

“Group of people that are very coordinated, very focused in their efforts,” said Cory Leeper with the La Verne Police Department. “There had to be some type of experience of direction on how to commit this crime.”

In fact, the police are wondering if this is the same crew responsible for another smash-and-grab that happened nearby just two days before.

In that case, the robbers used pepper spray on the employees and left in a white Hyundai Elantra.

“It’s definitely a possibility. The MO is similar,” Leeper said.

Police are now asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.

“I hope they do catch the bad guys soon, like in five minutes,” Jenny said.

Police said the thieves left the white car inside the store and hopped into a sedan, believed to be a black Nissan Sentra with chrome and black custom rims.

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