A gang of thieves armed with hammers robbed a jewelry shop at a mall in central California this week, according to reports.
The disturbing incident unfolded at around 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon in Merced, CA.
A group of between 10 and 15 masked males armed with hammers and other smashing tools swarmed Prestigio Jewelers in the Merced Mall, authorities say.
Multiple videos of the mob robbery were shared by Merced Police and witnesses.
The robbery reportedly took place in the immediate vicinity of a customer service kiosk where mall security guards are stationed.
“It’s disheartening to see how a group of people can commit crimes like this, just so brazen, out in the open at the mall,” Merced Police Lt. Joe Perez told local media.
“It was pretty casual – it wasn’t sprinting to get this job done. It was so casual it was almost scary. Not a care in the world.”
Authorities claim the heist was an ‘isolated incident’ despite similar smash-and-grabs happening on a frequent basis in the nearby Bay Area.
“We typically see these types of incidents in the Bay Area and other cities that are maybe not prosecuting these types of cases. We don’t typically see that here in Merced,” Merced Police Lt. Emily Foster told ABC30.
An investigation has been opened but no suspects have been arrested or identified as of the latest available updates.
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