Then a second gunman entered the store through the open security gate, he said.
“The first guy filled his pockets with some of the jewelry — gold chains and some other diamond bracelets — and made his way out,” Newton said. “But the door shut behind him, trapping the second guy inside.”
The trapped man fired several shots at the security locks in an attempt to break out of the store, then shattered the front display window with the butt of his gun, escaping with the first robber, who was waiting outside in the car, Newton said.
Detectives are not releasing details about evidence recovered on the scene, in order to not compromise the investigation, Newton said.
Given the circumstances, the suspects likely had cased the business before the crime, he said.
“I’m pretty confident that we are going to have some suspects identified,” Newton said. “And every little bit would help, and every witness we could get would help.”
Police are looking for witnesses, in particular someone who was walking into a nearby business moments before the robbery who reportedly fled the scene.
“There was a witness who was going to the cellular phone place next door to the jewelry store who saw the guys going inside and ran off,” he said. “And obviously if there’s anybody else who saw anything, there may be some more information we didn’t get.”
The suspects were described as between the ages of 27 and 37, wearing all black clothing and hoods, Balian said.
Police have received conflicting descriptions of the car they fled in — hearing reports of both a BMW and a Mercury — but it is clear that the car was black, Newton said.
K & A Jewelry was closed Tuesday, and business owners could not be reached for comment.
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the Robbery Homicide Department at (818) 548-3987, or Crime Stoppers at (818) 507-7867. Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous.
CHRIS WIEBE covers public safety and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at chris.wiebe@ latimes.com.