A San Francisco jewelry dealer was left beaten and shaken up Thursday after thieves took him by surprise and made off with up to $400,000 in merchandise.
San Francisco police were investigating the brazen heist that occurred in the North Mission around 6:30 p.m., just steps from the front door of a jewelry store on Utah Street, near Highway 101.
The victim, an independent dealer, was roughed up and robbed by at least three men, police said.
"They probably waited for him to go in, watched him, and when he came out, they ran out and jumped him," said a man who identified himself as the victim's cousin.
He said his cousin was hit in the chest, and his small suitcase full of diamonds and gold was gone.
"There’s no tracking on a diamond or gold items," he said. "Some people might pawn it off for maybe 10 percent of the value, so they might get $30,000 to $40,000 for it."
The security guard inside the jewelry store said he saw three men jumping the victim on one of his security cameras. But by the time he saw the attack, it was too late to press the silent alarm.
"Most people in this business don’t carry protection on them," he said. "They should at least use pepper spray."
The victim told NBC Bay Area he believes he was followed.
Police weren’t providing any information on the case.