VALLEY VILLAGE (CBSLA.com) — The owners of a Valley Village jewelry store are picking up the pieces after three masked men violently attacked the family business, stealing nearly $1 million in merchandise.
The men stormed into Valley Discount Jewelers just before noon on Halloween, using hammers to smash the display cases.
“It all happened so quick, you don’t realize, you don’t know what to do,” said Tommy Kalajian, the owner’s son.
Kalajian said the attack was an organized robbery. Security video shows a woman in the store asking about jewelry. As she leaves the store, she is seen holding open the locked door.
“She holds the door and these three guys come out of the car and come straight into the store” armed with masks, gloves and hammers, he said.
Kalajian ran to press the panic button and his mother followed, but both were hit with pepper spray. His mother, Muna Kalajian, was then dragged several feet.
“He grabbed me from my hair and stick me on the floor and he sprayed pepper on my eyes and my hair,” she said.
The man then threatened her, saying “put your head down or I’m gonna kill you.”
A family friend who was also present broke her shoulder when she was pushed into a display case.
The whole robbery took only a few minutes before the suspects sped away. Surveillance video shows the supposed female customer drove the getaway car.
The family’s home was burglarized earlier that day, something police have said they believe is related.
Despite having no insurance for the stolen jewelry, the Kalajians said they are cleaning up and moving on with the business they have owned for 32 years. They told CBS2’s Andrea Fujii they hope somehow the suspects are caught.
“We cannot shut our door,” Muna Kalajian said. “We been too many years in this store and it’s our life.”