MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA) — Robbery suspects were confronted by police just feet away from a dance studio filled with kids in Orange County.

As CBSLA’s Stacey Butler reports, a smash-and-grab jewelry store heist in Mission Viejo ended with an arrest in front of the dance studio in Costa Mesa — giving quite a scare to students and parents.

“It’s kind of unusual. We’ve never seen something like this happen here before,” said one parent.

The dad was waiting for his daughter outside the West Coast School of the Arts in Costa Mesa like he does every Monday night. But tonight he was in for a shock.

Just as dance students poured out of their classes, Orange County sheriff deputies tried to identify suspected thieves wanted in an attempted jewelry store heist in Mission Viejo just hours earlier.

“Very concerned nowadays. Bad news,” said the dad.

Students say when deputies first stopped the rented SUV in front of their studio, they were placed on lockdown.

Detectives say around 4 p.m. Monday, two thieves, armed with sledgehammers, tried smashing a jewelry counter at Frederic’s Jewelers at Mission Viejo Mall.

“They used a sledgehammer,” said Lt. Quyen Vuong, Orange County Sheriff’s Department. “Fled the area.”

The guy was detained in the parking lot, and at least two other suspects drove off before getting stopped twenty miles away.

No one was hurt in the attempted robbery.

It was the third attempted robbery at the very same jeweler in the last 10  years.


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