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Armed Gunmen Take $1 Million In Jewelry From Salesman In Mall Parking Lot

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SHERMAN OAKS (CBS) —  Two armed robbers smashed into a traveling salesman’s car and nabbed $1 million worth of jewelry at a Southland mall Friday, police reported.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz Reports

The robbery took place shortly after 3 p.m. in the parking lot of the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square.

A jewelry salesman and his wife from Palm Desert had just parked their car when two masked gunmen approached the driver’s side with a gun, smashed the rear window and grabbed the jewels. They told CBS2 that the robbery happened in seconds.

Someone told police they saw a grey BMW 3 series, with paper plates, speed out of the parking structure.

Investigators were reviewing surveillance video to get a better description of the suspects.

The salesman said, earlier in the day, he had been to a Santa Monica jewelry store and he believes the suspects followed him from there.

“It appears that there was knowledge of what was in the car. They were followed to a specific location. The suspects knew exactly where to obtain the jewelry,” Sgt. Mitzi Fierro said.

Authorities explained why jewelry is attractive to thieves.

“Jewelry is always very easy to take. Frequently, people who are doing robberies focus on smaller items because they’re easier to obtain, easy to carry, they have a lot of value,” Fierro said.

Detectives don’t believe there’s a spike in this type of crime. However, there have been several recent jewelry heists in the Southland area. In November 2010, diamonds and watches were taken at gunpoint from two jewelry wholesalers in Newport Beach. In April 2011, $1.5 million in jewels were taken from a jewelry representative as he stopped for lunch in Santa Monica. In August 2011, a salesman was robbed of $2 million in diamonds as he sat in his car in traffic.

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