Irvine robbery: Thieves use hammers to steal $900K in jewelry during violent smash-and-grab

David González Image
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Smash-and-grab robbers steal $900K in jewelry from Irvine store
Surveillance video captured smash-and-grab thieves armed with hammers burst into an Irvine jewelry store and steal nearly $1 million in merchandise.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- It took only 60 seconds for Alan's life and decades of hard work to come crashing down.

Alan is the owner of Jewels By Alan.

"I'm numb," he said. "I am absolutely numb trying to figure out what's our next step."

Surveillance cameras caught three suspects rush into his jewelry store in Irvine around 12:30 p.m. Monday.

"I do all the jewelry, and all the stuff that was in the showcases were my own pieces and just everything disappeared," Alan said. "This idea of coming and hitting us at this time is so brazen. You would think that they would come when it's not crowded."

The thieves, who were wearing all black and had their faces covered, used hammers to shatter the glass displays.

Two women who were in the store shopping immediately hit the ground.

"We know that we take a risk in this business," Alan said. "We know that. But customers walking in they're not ready for this kind of atrocious violence that's committed."

Irvine police Sgt. Karie Davies estimates the robbers got away with more than $900,000 in jewelry.

"It kind of just shows you the mentality that they either don't think they're going to get caught or they don't care if they get caught," Davies said.

Davies said besides what was caught on camera, investigators have limited information on the suspects or the vehicle used to get away.

"What's unique about this crew is the fact that they brought in tall, empty trash cans," Davies said. "I saw video today that it looks like there's a similar M.O. of crimes that occurred in Ontario and Downey, using those same type of trash cans so the odds of those three being connected are probably pretty good."

Alan is thankful no one was hurt during the violent robbery.

He said they've started to pick up the pieces and hopes the suspects are caught before committing another crime.

"I can't stop because something like this happened. We have to get on with life," he said. "I have a family to feed. I have bills. This lease we still have to pay for, the insurance, all kinds of stuff. This doesn't stop and I'm not stopping."

Alan said even though this experience has been traumatizing for him and his customers, he wants to guarantee the community that he plans to be back and open for business as soon as possible.