Armed robbers sought after taking jewelry from Pacoima Costco

PACOIMA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A manhunt is underway for a group of armed robbers who stormed a Costco in Pacoima, terrifying customers and making off with a cache of expensive jewelry.

While Costco shoppers were filling their carts, three masked men ran into the store for one thing only: the jewelry inside a now shattered and empty display case.

Witnesses said the suspects struck the hard-to-break glass several times, while another held a gun to keep shoppers from trying to halt the heist.

Witness James Anderson was at the photo booth when he heard the commotion and went toward the jewelry counter.

"As I was getting closer to him, some guy came from my left, and he had a 45, and he held it at me at an angle like the gangbangers do, and he said, 'Don't do it, back off," Anderson recalled.

Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Eric Bixler said the suspects quickly ran back out of the store once they got the jewelry in hand.

The suspects fled in a silver Mercedes. The value of the jewelry they stole is unknown but witness Kennard Deeds said the robbers knew exactly which part of the counter to break.

"Me and my wife were just here two days ago, looking in the cabinet at one of the rings. They're expensive rings. One was $25,000, so they took the whole high-end end of the case," Deeds said.

Last year in Northern California, two Costco locations were held up in a similar fashion. The suspects wore masks, and they went after the jewelry counter. One suspect was arrested.

The LAPD will be looking into those cases during the investigation.

Meantime, there was no comment from Costco officials.
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