A 62-year-old woman visiting her son at his jewelry store got caught in the middle of an armed robbery on Thursday afternoon.
Turns out it's the second jewelry store heist in that same block of University Avenue, the 4200 block, in City Heights in the last month.
Two armed men snuck in through the back of Joyeria Garcia's Jewelry and gave the owner's mother, Trinity Madrigal, the fright of her life. One of the men put a gun to her face, demanding that she open the safe.
The robber told her: “I don't want to hurt you, so open the box in there. I said, 'No, I can't open it because I don't know nothing. I am a visitor over here,'” Madrigal said.
Madrigal said she was then grabbed by the neck and forced at gunpoint to the store office by one of the two armed robbers .
“I'm scared when he is pointing to me with a gun. I don't want to look at the gun and look in his face because I don't want him shooting me,” Madrigal said.
Realizing they grabbed the wrong Madrigal and would get no closer to the cash, Madrigal said the gunmen stole a handful of necklaces then escaped.
“I feel lucky he doesn't grab my neck and throw me down and kill me or something,” Madrigal said.
One block down University Avenue at Eclipse Jewelry, Arturo Carrera was stunned. It was less than a month ago that he was the victim of a smash and grab at his diamond ring counter. The suspect didn't get away with much, but he wasn't caught either.
“It's like a bank. Robbers think there is a lot of money in gold and silver because of the prices,” Carrera said.
San Diego police's robbery squad said the two crimes do not involve the same suspects. Still, shop owners fear this is a beginning of a very long and dangerous summer.
“It seems like we need to be a little more alert because it's not a very good sign to have two robbers in a short time,” Carerra said.
The security cameras inside Garcia's were not recording at the time of the robbery, but other cameras outside the building that did capture the incident.
Investigators reviewed those recordings, but could not say whether they got a clear shot of the suspects.