HESPERIA (CBS) — Jewelry store owner Robert Espinosa is now walking with a slight limp.
His injury came from a smash-and-grab robbery inside his store in Hesperia yesterday around 11 a.m.
The robbery was caught on 16 surveillance cameras.
The five armed suspects broke through glass cases and made off with most of his inventory and his life savings.
Espinosa was still in shock Wednesday but sounded sanguine. “I know it was my turn [yesterday].”
As soon as the suspects ran in, they made a beeline to Espinosa, who was behind the counter.
They forced him into a room that was not covered by surveillance cameras and hit him several times. They ordered him to open the “[expletive] safe.”
Espinosa was forced down on all fours as the robbers rummaged through his safe. His wife was on her hands and knees, as the business that the immigrant couple took 20 years to build was ransacked.
Susan Rose of the Hesperia Police, said officers took this robbery especially hard because they consider Espinosa to be such an outstanding member of the community.
“It’s such a personal affront. He’s a beloved member of our Police Activities League. He coaches students, at-risk youth.”
The five suspects were seen fleeing in two cars. One of the vehicles was described as a four-door BMW.
The jewelry store is not insured for robberies. But Espinosa says he is grateful neither he or his wife were badly injured and that their children were not in the store when it happened.
Still, Espinosa said he will likely never be the same again. “When they put the gun on you, the threaten [to] kill you. They humiliate you.”
Police are also hoping a series of photos they released will lead to capture of the robbers.