"Information led police to believe a fourth person was outstanding, " Newcomb said.
The mall, off limits during most of the morning while it was searched, reopened shortly before noon.
The suspects, believed to have robbed dozens of jewelry stores across Southern California and elsewhere, may have been involved in a string of crimes, Newcomb said.
Los Angeles police burglary detectives tipped off Montebello police that the suspects were in the mall, LAPD Lt. George Angelos said.
"Information was developed through our detectives that the Montebello mall might be the subject of a burglary this morning (and) contacted the Montebello Police Department, who rolled all their resources out here," Angelos said.
"They were Johnny-on-the-spot, and, in fact, detained and arrested three individuals." Angelos said.
The men may have been involved in at least 10 smash-and-grab robberies in Los Angeles, Glendale and Orange County, and possibly out of state, it was reported.
"They enter the store, they find the product they are looking for, typically in glass display cases ... and they smash the case; they sweep the material, whatever the items are, into whatever containers they're using at the time, and they're off," Angelos said.