Shots fired by owner in Riverside jewelry store smash-and-grab

Shots fired by owner in Riverside jewelry store smash-and-grab

What began as a regular work day turned into a chaotic one at Geneva Jewelry at Canyon Crest Town Center in Riverside.

At around 11 a.m. Saturday, two robbers wearing masks and hoodies followed a customer into the store and began smashing the display cases with hammers while loading up the merchandise into their bags.

“They walked in nonchalantly and just pulled out the hammers and started smashing,” employee Michaelangelo Torchia told KTLA’s Sara Welch. “It was super terrifying but I mean, we are pushing through.”

Torchia’s father was working at the counter when the suspects entered and began smashing the display cases. That’s when he walked over to a back room and retrieved his firearm. He then several fired shots into the floor to scare off the thieves.

“Once they got scared, they fell to the floor,” Michaelangelo said. “They ran out.”

Surveillance video from inside the store shows multiple bullet holes that damaged parts of the store. Witnesses said the suspects had been casing out the area before the robbery.

“[They] opened the door, stuck their head in and looked around and ran,” said an employee of a nearby business.

  • Once the owner began shooting, the thieves ran out of the jewelry store. (KTLA)
  • Bullet holes in the window of Geneva Jewelry after a smash-and-grab robbery. (KTLA)
  • Geneva Jewelry is boarded up after a smash-and-grab robbery. (KTLA)

Torchia says this isn’t the first time his father has been robbed — during an incident in 1992, he was tied up in a chair by thieves.

Torchia and the other victims are hopeful there will be tougher consequences for those who are caught committing robberies.

“You get people who get caught and they walk right out the same day,” Torchia said. “You can’t do much about it, It’s a lenient system.”

Torchia adds that even though his family is shaken following the robbery, he is thankful that no one was hurt.

Authorities say this is the second smash-and-grab robbery in Riverside since New Year’s Eve. The Riverside Police Department is still searching for at least two suspects who remain at large.

Geneva Jewelry plans to reopen for business on Tuesday.

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