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How did they get away with another heist? Third Indian jewelry store hit by armed robbers

NRI PULSE STAFF REPORT

Berkeley, CA, July 10, 2024: A group of masked robbers armed with guns and sledgehammers forced their way into the Bombay Jewelry Company over the weekend, making off with $500,000 worth of merchandise, according to Berkeley police.

The robbery occurred Saturday just before 2:10 p.m. at the jewelry store located at 1042 University Ave., near 10th Street. Berkeley police reported that seven to eight individuals executed a “coordinated robbery,” using sledgehammers to break display cases and brandishing firearms to threaten and control staff and customers.

“The total estimated loss is approximately $500,000 in assorted jewelry,” Berkeley Police Department (BPD) stated. The initial call to BPD came from the alarm company, prompting a swift police response. Witnesses described the robbers arriving in two vehicles, a black sedan and a silver sedan.

The Berkeley Police Department is actively investigating the robbery, authorities said Monday.

This incident is the third major robbery of an Indian jewelry store in Northern California this year.

In Sunnyvale, PNG Jewelers was robbed by a group of about 20 masked individuals on a Wednesday afternoon last month. The robbers used hammers to smash the glass entry doors and were inside the store within seconds, breaking display cases and emptying jewelry racks. This heist occurred around 1:27 p.m. at the store located at 791 East El Camino Real. The robbers escaped in multiple cars before the police arrived. A police chase ensued, resulting in the capture of five suspects: Tonga Latu, Tavake Esafe, Ofa Ahomana, Kilifi Leaaetoa, and Afuhia Lavakeiaho. They face charges including armed robbery, fleeing from police, resisting arrest, burglary, and vandalism. Some of the stolen jewelry was recovered, and no injuries were reported.

Additionally, Bhindi Jewelers in Fremont was targeted by 17 men earlier this year, also on a Wednesday afternoon. The robbers stormed the store at gunpoint, smashing display cases and stealing gold and diamond jewelry.

Authorities are urging anyone with information about these incidents to come forward as investigations continue. The recent spate of jewelry store robberies has raised concerns among business owners and the community, highlighting the need for increased security measures and vigilance.

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