Brazen armed robbers take $1M in jewelry from Valley Village store


"Thank God we're just alive," said Tommy Kalajian. His parents own Valley Discount Jewelers.

Kalajian was behind the counter with his mother around 12 p.m. on Halloween. A family friend was also seated in the shop. A female accomplice walked in first, asking about earrings. The other thieves waited outside.

"As she leaves, you can see her holding the door, and she lets these three guys come in. They're all wearing masks, bashing left and right," Kalajian said.

Two crooks handled the jewelry. The third roughed up Kalajian and his mother, pulling her by her hair in the back office.

"The whole time he was telling my mother not to move or he'll kill her," he said.

In the meantime, their 64-year-old friend was pepper sprayed and tossed into a showcase, breaking her shoulder.

"We were already being hurt, but to be cut, even shot, that would have been just devastating," he said.

The ordeal lasted two minutes, but it seemed like an eternity to the Kalajians.

The thieves made off with $1 million in merchandise. Because the Kalajians don't have insurance, the only way they can get compensated is to get the jewelry back.

"We just work and we rebuild, like another day. I mean, what are we going to do? This is our livelihood. This is how we break bread," Kalajian said.

Two hours before the shop was robbed, the Kalajians' family home was burglarized. LAPD believes both crimes are related. They also say they have DNA of the suspects' blood left at the store.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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