Surveillance video caught it all. Six young men run into the Diamond Ring Co. inside the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, California some wearing surgical masks.
But they left less than 30 seconds later – empty-handed.
It all began about 8:20 p.m. Monday. The group ran into the store on the second-level of the mall. Within moments, one of them unleashed a canister of pepper spray at an employee, while another took out a hammer and tried to break into a display case full of Rolex watches.
“They just start smashing the window,” said manager Samir Masudy.
Surveillance cameras caught employee Sarosh Tariq ducking for cover as a cloud of orange pepper spray was propelled into the air.
“Next thing I know, it’s all over my face. I couldn’t breathe, I inhaled it and I couldn’t see. I was totally blind,” Tariq said.
The man with the hammer hit the display case seven times but couldn’t get to the watches inside. Another man, wearing a red hoodie, grabbed the hammer and tried, too. It didn’t work.
And that’s because the cases are made of special glass.
“The glass we use for our showcases are actually a double layer, tempered glass,” Masudy said. “So it’s the type that even if you hammer it or if you do anything, they’re not going to get through.”
So they all ran out, but not before the man in red swung the hammer one last time. Again, he was unsuccessful.
The surveillance cameras also catch a seventh man in bright yellow shoes acting as a lookout.
This is the latest incident targeting jewelry displays. Over the past few months, robbers have stolen jewelry at Costco stores and jewelry stores throughout the Bay Area.
Earlier this year, a group of men wearing construction vests pepper-sprayed the owner of a Walnut Creek watch store. The owner turned the tables on the would-be robbers when he produced a gun and chased them out.
“I just really want it to stop,” Tariq said. “It’s sad that we live in a world where things like this happen frequently. We are working with the mall, maybe taking better precautions.”
Pleasanton police tell KTVU that they are aware of the other robberies in the Bay Area and are comparing notes with other jurisdictions to check for any connections.