The owner of a Pasadena jewelry shop where $500,000 worth of jewelry was stolen in a daylight break-in on Tuesday has stated he is uncertain about his future.
Samuel Babikian, the proprietor of Jewels on Lake in Southern California, claims that he was pepper-sprayed in the face by masked men armed with hammers just before 2:00 p.m.
They then looted his store.
Babkian said the pepper spray caused him to choke. He said he saw nothing. He couldn’t see or make out any of their faces and had no clue how many people there were.
Witnesses told Pasadena police that four individuals wearing ski masks committed the smash-and-grab. The criminals were able to flee the establishment minutes before the police arrived to apprehend them.
Babikian, the company’s owner for over half a century, was sad as he confessed that he was unsure about his plans.
He said he couldn’t know what he’d be doing in the morning and was unsure whether it was a good idea for him to go to the store.
Babkian said the business was his life and what gave food to his family. He added that it was not right that they could destroy your life as you know it in a split second.”
Law enforcement officials could not identify and detain any suspects in the hours after the robbery.
A persistent issue involving organized retail crime has plagued California for some time.
In Los Angeles on Thursday, a huge gang of robbers wearing masks burst into a Macy’s store. The robbers loaded bags with loot and drove off in two cars.
Just a few weeks ago, Los Angeles city authorities announced the establishment of a regional retail crime task force in response to a spate of flash mob robberies that went viral on social media.
The task team includes law enforcement officials from various Southern California agencies. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are among these organizations, as are the United States Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.