San Jose police on Thursday said they were investigating a smash-and-grab robbery that occurred at a jewelry shop in Eastridge Mall, the latest in a series of organized Bay Area retail thefts that have now prompted action from the state attorney general.
Four masked people entered the Quick Service Jewelry Design, a family-owned store inside the mall, smashed display cases with hammers and took several items, police said.
The thieves got away with $70,000 in jewelry in just 12 seconds then fled on foot toward the parking lot before officers arrived, police said.
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The latest smash and grab comes as California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Friday was set to announce a "major update in organized retail theft" in the Bay Area during a 1 p.m. news conference in San Mateo County.
The San Jose smash-and-grab follows several similar retail robberies that have occurred across the Bay Area over the past few weeks. Police officers and security guards continue to increase patrols at most shopping centers, including the Great Mall in Milpitas.
“I used to work in this mall, so compared to before, and I worked here for years, there’s definitely more,” said shopper Kayla Salas. “We saw two officers and a security guard when we first came in, and then we talked to one while we were leaving.”
No one was hurt during the robbery at Eastridge Mall, and San Jose police are looking at surveillance video, investigating if these crimes that continue to happen are connected.
“The security guards are not just hanging out; they’re paying attention to what’s going on, and they’re actually interacting,” said shopper Candi Boten.