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Pune-based PNG jewellers robbed by 20 miscreants in USA's San Francisco; video surfaces (WATCH)

Nearly 20 suspects raided PNG Jewellers in San Francisco on June 12, using hammers to loot jewelry. They fled before police arrived, leading to a chase and the arrest of five suspects. Some stolen jewellery was recovered, but the total value remains unknown. This incident follows a similar robbery at Bhindi Jewelers two weeks earlier.

Pune-based PNG jewellers robbed by 20 miscreants in USA's San Francisco; video surfaces (WATCH) vkp
First Published Jun 16, 2024, 11:17 AM IST

In a brazen daylight robbery, nearly 20 suspects dressed in black stormed a branch of PNG Jewellers at the Hacienda Shopping Center on E. El Camino Real in San Francisco on June 12. The shocking incident, captured on CCTV footage, shows the robbers using hammers and tools to shatter glass counters and smash display cases, looting valuable jewellery before making a swift escape.

The incident took place around 12:30 PM, contrary to initial reports suggesting the robbery occurred closer to 1:30 PM. The footage clearly shows the chaos as over a dozen individuals, armed with sledgehammers and other tools, forcibly entered the store and swiftly began their heist.

Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported that officers arrived at the scene shortly after 1:27 PM, by which time the suspects had already fled in multiple vehicles. The officers managed to identify and intercept two of the suspect vehicles on northbound U.S. Highway 101. During the pursuit, stolen jewellery was seen being thrown from one of the fleeing vehicles. This vehicle was later abandoned near Whipple Avenue in Redwood City, where five suspects fled into an industrial area and were subsequently arrested near San Carlos.

The incident at PNG Jewelers, located at 791 E. El Camino Real, mirrors a similar robbery that took place at Bhindi Jewelers in Newark just two weeks prior, marking the second such attack on an Indian jewellery store in the region within a short span.

“The suspects fled the store in several vehicles before officers arrived on the scene,” said a statement from Sunnyvale DPS. “Subsequently, officers identified and intercepted two of the suspect vehicles as they attempted to escape the area.”

The first vehicle evaded police efforts to stop it, resulting in a prolonged chase before it ultimately escaped. The second vehicle, however, was more eventful; suspects threw stolen jewelry from the moving car during the pursuit. Police lost sight of the vehicle but later found it with the help of another agency. Four suspects from this vehicle were apprehended, and a fifth was located and arrested later.

Although some of the stolen jewelry has been recovered, the total value of the looted items remains undetermined. Thankfully, no injuries were reported during the robbery.

This daring heist highlights a worrying trend of targeted attacks on Indian jewellery stores in the Bay Area, raising concerns among local businesses and law enforcement agencies. 

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