Caught on video: Thieves shatter jewelry store glass displays at mall in Central California

MERCED, Calif. -- Cell phone video shows about a dozen people inside a mall jewelry store in Central California busting glass display cases and stealing merchandise.

"There was jewelry flying everywhere and glass flying everywhere," said Graciela Pena.

Merced Police say they were called to the Merced Mall just before 1 p.m. Tuesday for a disturbance involving a group of 10 to 15 male juveniles and adults.

Investigators learned the group showed up to the mall with masks and hammers, smashed the jewelry cases at Prestigio Jewelers, stole items and then took off.

Employees at the Baskin Robbins near the entrance saw the suspects come and go.

"They were running out, you could see the hammers in their hands when they were running out," said Baskin Robbins employee Patricia Bibee.

Merced Police are still trying to determine the total value of the jewelry that was stolen.

Officials say this an unusual event for this community.

"We typically see these types of incidents in the Bay Area and other cities that are maybe not prosecuting these types of cases. We don't typically see that here in Merced," said Merced Police Lt. Emily Foster.

Investigators say they've obtained surveillance video and cell phone video and are now searching for the group involved.

One of the witnesses says it's sad these crimes are happening in Merced.

"It just feels like this is just more common everyday. Like, it didn't even surprise me that it was happening and that's the sad reality, that it didn't even surprise me," Pena said.

No one was injured during the incident. Anyone with information or other cell phone video is asked to call Merced Police at 209-385-6905.

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