RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Authorities in Riverside report the theft of $1.5 million in jewels from a Riverside business by two suspects wearing Halloween masks.
The heist occurred at Wholesale Jewelry Exchange in the 500 block of E La Cadena Drive at about 4 p.m.
The suspects also stole the victim’s vehicle and cell phone. The car was recovered, about a mile away, at Cisneros Court in Colton.
The store owner was too shaken to talk to CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Amanda Burden.
Riverside police said two men disguised as florists — carrying flowers and balloons — stormed the business. The suspects were also armed and wore masks and had a gun.
They threatened to kill the owner who said the men fled with jewels, other precious gems and gold.
Burden says the suspects tied the store owner to a chair and ransacked the store.
The owner remained tied up for more than two hours in a back room. He was finally discovered by some friends and able to call for help.
Riverside Police Lieutenant Mark Rossi said police are trying to find these men before they strike again. “This was a violent takeover and robbery, and to go to the extent of using a weapon and tying the [owner] down and ransacking the store…It’s the type of crime we take very seriously and will devote the resources to apprehend them.”
The owner was not hurt.