The Huntington Beach jewelry store co-owner speaks out after fending off thieves during a video-captured robbery

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — Shopkeepers at a jewelry store say they have no regrets defending and repelling a group of hammer-wielding thieves during a robbery in Huntington Beach.

“This is our family business that we wanted to protect,” said Sarah Vaca, co-owner of Princess Bride Jewelery Store. “We are very keen to protect what is ours.”

The incident happened around 12pm at the Princess Bride jewelry store in the Bella Terra Mall.

Surveillance video of a store shows four hooded people entering the store. One of the suspects then hits the front jewelry box with a hammer while another tries to grab some of the contents.

At this point, a store clerk is seen running out and beginning to attack one of the robbery suspects. Another employee quickly swings and kicks.

“It was very high energy, lots of adrenaline,” Vaca said. “I’ve never been in a fight in my life, so that was crazy.”

She joined the fight by grabbing a chair and punching one of the robbers on the back.

“I was just looking for something heavy that I can use to help (them) as much as possible and something that might stop them from continuing to fight us,” Vaca said. “My brother eventually caught one of them and actually punched one of them in the face.”

A store employee repeatedly stepped on one of the robbers who was lying on the ground.

The employees fended off all four robbers successfully. During the fight, Vaca’s brother appears to have been hit in the head with a hammer by a suspect, but he was not seriously injured.

While this situation didn’t end well for the robbers, some law enforcement experts say the situation could have turned out much worse had the robbers been more heavily armed.

“No one in the life of this store is worth a diamond, watch or piece of jewelry,” said law enforcement expert Bruce Thomas. “They were very lucky that the criminals had no weapons other than what they used to smash that display case. If a gun had been involved, it could have turned out very, very differently.”

After a full inventory, a shopkeeper said the robbers got away with only three rings.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. The Huntington Beach jewelry store co-owner speaks out after fending off thieves during a video-captured robbery

Laura Coffey

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