Two jewelry stores in the same mall on the Peninsula were targeted by smash-and-grab thieves in just four days.
Maaz Jewelers owner Usman Bhatti said the recent rash of smash-and-grab robberies in the Bay Area has him on the lookout.
“I know all the jewelry store owners, they're just waiting for their turn. It's not right,” said Bhatti.
It was his turn at the Tanforan Mall friday.
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In a matter of seconds, a suspect he said looked like a teenager, smashed a jewelry case with a crowbar while his friends moved in closer.
Bhatti pulled his permitted concealed weapon.
“I pushed him, he was going to strike me so I pulled my firearm,” said the owner.
Bhatti said one of the five suspects pointed a gun at him. No one fired and the suspects took off.
San Bruno police shared images of the suspects on social media. Bhatti believes the same group came back to Tanforan Monday night and hit S & L Gem Company.
Workers were cleaning up broken glass Tuesday. This time thieves smashed several glass cases and stole jewelry.
A witness, who doesn't want to be identified, said the men used sledgehammers to smash the glass while terrified employees and customers screamed.
“I'm feeling totally unsafe,” said Bhatti, adding that he and his employee are scared at work.
He said something must change to restore a sense of safety.
“Lawmakers do something, we need protection,” said Bhatti. “This is no way to run a business, we are struggling.”
Struggling to make ends meet and to protect his small business.