“It happened so fast”: 8 armed suspects clear out jewelry store

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) – April 14, 2024 – One of the oldest jewelry stores in Oakland, California, is picking up the pieces after a brazen armed robbery. It is the worst robbery the family-owned business has experienced in more than 40 years of operation and the thieves struck right in the middle of the day.

The chaos and terror that unfolded at a jewelry store in Oakland’s Chinatown is unlike anything the business has ever experienced in its more than 40 years of operation. “It happened so fast,” Tony Trinh said.

In surveillance video, Trinh’s 69-year-old mother Diana is seen ducking for cover and screaming for help and eight people smash nearly every single case. “We’ve been robbed a few times before but not at this level of brazen magnitude. Eight individuals and two getaway cars and guns drawn,” Trinh said.

With no security guard on duty at the time, her 76-year-old husband comes storming in wielding a firearm which scares the suspect away. “If he hadn’t done that they would have kept going,” Trinh said.

The family’s American dream and the majority of the store’s inventory was gone in less than a minute. “My mom was devastated and my dad was broken,” Trinh said. The devastating blow was made worse after the family let their business insurance lapse due to rising premiums.

“Her entire life work and savings gone in a few minutes. It’s rough. My mom is the leader of the pack. When she suffers I suffer,” Trinh said. Crime in the area is what prompted Trinh to become executive director of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council and despite what happened, he remains optimistic.

“I’ve seen tremendous progress even though it doesn’t feel like that. In terms of cleaning and safety, there are a lot more out there ambassadors. We have walking officers, during the pandemic we didn’t,” he said.

Trinh admits that he is not sure if the store will stay in business. “Would love to but with the environment and how tough it’s been, we don’t know yet,” he said. The Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council has started a GoFundMe to help recoup the massive loss. Oakland Police Department said the investigation into this case is ongoing.

Click here to view the unredacted article (to remove the jewelry store’s name) as well as a video of this incident, provided by KGO 12 26 News.

If you have any information regarding these subjects, please contact the Jewelers Security Alliance at jsa2@jewelerssecurity.org or 212-687-0328.

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