Customers and supporters of a Huntington Beach jewelry store were continuing Monday to hail the actions of employees who fought off a group of would-be smash-and-grab robbers.
“My jewelers are absolute savages,” one customer wrote in an Instagram post that included the now-widely viewed surveillance video that shows employees fighting off the four intruders, who entered the Princess Bride Diamonds store at the Bella Terra shopping center at 7821 Edinger Ave. around noon Sunday.
One of the culprits smashed a display case and began reaching for merchandise, but the quick-moving employees descended on the group, pushing them back toward the door.
Sarah and Dallas Baca — a brother and sister team whose family owns the store — both attacked the would-be thieves and fought them off, along with another employee. The smash-and-grab crew wound up fleeing, and no merchandise was stolen. Dallas Baca told reporters he got hit on the head with a hammer during the scuffle, “but I didn’t even register it until after they left because there was so much adrenaline going on.”
Sarah Baca used a chair to fend off an intruder who was struggling with another employee.
“I’m glad that our team banded together, and we were able to put up a fight and stop what was happening,” she said.
The intruders remain at large, police said.
Customers and others who saw the video took to social media to praise the actions of the workers in fending off the attackers.
“If more stores literally took these thugs to the ground and kicked the (expletive) out of them, maybe it would happen less,” one person wrote.
“Can we just applaud that staff,” another added.
One customer wrote, “I love everyone here so much. This is a family business and they have been so good to us. If you’re looking for jewelry, not just diamonds, please support them.”
Another said the staff “literally went off” on the attackers.
The store posted a note saying it will be closed for the next four days, or taking customers by appointment only.
The four robbers got away with about $7,700 in valuables, said Jennifer Carey, a spokeswoman for the city’s police department.
Despite the praise for the employees who confronted the robbers, police do not recommend engaging with suspects, she said.
“If you’re ever in that kind of circumstance call 911 — fortunately, no one was injured,” Carey said. “It’s always best to err on the side of caution.”