In the wake of a series of retail burglaries sweeping Southern California, an audacious attempt at Meza’s Jewelry in El Monte went off-script when employees took matters into their own hands. The entire dramatic confrontation was captured on film.
Around 2:20 p.m. on Saturday, a man stepped into the store at 10909 Main Street with mischief on his mind. Witnesses say he unleashed bear repellent spray on unsuspecting employees and patrons before turning his attention to the display cases, which he began smashing in a bid to grab the jewels inside.
However, things didn’t go as smoothly as he might’ve hoped. El Monte police recounted how the store’s employees bravely “engaged the suspect,” leading to a full-blown tussle. The video evidence depicts store workers battling the would-be thief, who, in the midst of the brawl, lost his shirt. Armed with a metal rod, they pursued the suspect right to the doorstep and out into the streets.
Although the suspect managed to escape in a gray Dodge Charger, he was distinctly identifiable. Described as a Black man between 35-45 years old, he stands at 6 feet, 1 inch tall, and weighs around 270 to 300 pounds. With a receding hairline and some facial hair, possibly including a mustache, he’s quite distinctive.
Fortunately, it seems he left empty-handed, though he left a trail of shattered display cases in his wake.
El Monte police have taken the helm of the investigation and are urging anyone with information to come forward. This incident comes hot on the heels of a similar crime in Pasadena, where a jewelry store owner was pepper-sprayed while burglars made away with merchandise worth over half a million dollars.