Irvine jewelry store thieves smash cases and steal $900,000 in merchandise

Security camera video shows the thieves rush into Jewels by Alan carrying two plastic trash bins and hammers.

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Three people dressed head-to-toe in black and wearing hoods and masks smashed glass jewelry cases and stole about $900,000 worth of merchandise from a store in Irvine.

Security camera video showed the thieves using hammers to break into cases at about 12:30 p.m. Monday at Jewels by Alan in the 2900 block of Michelson Drive.

The thieves used at least two plastic kitchen-size trash bins to load up on gems and other items. They left in a getaway car, but a detailed description of the vehicle was not immediately available.

At least two customers were in or near the store. There were no reports of injuries.

"Thank God the two ladies are safe and we are safe, but our jewelry is gone," said Alan, who owns the business.

He told NBCLA he watched in disbelief as the group of thieves cleaned out his cases in just a matter of seconds. Alan added he felt helpless watching the group take his property, but Irvine police said he did the right thing by not intervening.

"You never know if they have weapons that they will use to try to get away," Sgt. Karie Davies of the Irvine Police Department said. "The best thing you can do is let them take the stuff. Try to get a license plate or a vehicle description or something."

Irvine police asked anyone with information to contact 949-724-7276 or

NBCLA's Tony Shin contributed to this report.

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