San Jose police are investigating a jewelry store robbery that startled holiday shoppers and sent crowds running into stores and out of the mall for safety.
At 5:50 p.m., police responded to a report of a robbery at Valliani Jewelers inside the mall. A suspect broke a glass case and took several items from the jewelry store, police said.
Witnesses report hearing the breaking glass, which set off nearby shoppers to run for safety.
"We heard a shatter," said Mayra Montoya. "It kind of sounded like a bottle."
Other witnesses said the shattered glass sounded like gunfire.
Montoya was holding her 2-month-old nephew in the line to see Santa when a man smashed a glass case at the jewelry store.
Montoya said the suspect had a black nylon over his face.
"As soon as I seen that we started running," she said.
San Jose-resident Daisy Bucio was holiday shopping at the mall with her cousins during the robbery.
"It was scary because I didn't know what was going on and a lot of people were running," she said.
Bucio, 16, was waiting with her 2-year-old brother when she saw a crowd of people running toward her. She took her brother and ran into a nearby store, which shut the gates to keep people inside.
"After a while we were told to evacuate the mall," she said.
Police at 9 p.m. said the mall was back open for business.
The suspect fled on foot and has not been identified, police said. No injuries have been reported.