Turlock detectives looking for jewel thieves

08/10/2012 11:18 AM

08/11/2012 12:29 AM

Detectives on Friday were looking for four people who robbed a downtown Turlock jewelry store at gunpoint Thursday evening and fired at the owner, who was not hit.

The robbery occurred about 6:50 p.m. at the Universal Jewelers store at 229 W. Main St., just east of Lander Avenue.

Turlock police said the robbers wore dark clothing and drove up in a silver Chevrolet Astro van. Three entered the store, one carrying a shotgun. The fourth person, the getaway driver, remained in the van.

The robbers smashed the counters and grabbed jewelry. The person with the shotgun fired a shot at the store's owner, who was escaping to the back of the business, police said.

The robbers then drove away in the van. As it was leaving, a store employee grabbed a gun and fired a shot. No injuries were reported.

Officers found the van abandoned a few blocks from the jewelry store. Police said it had been reported stolen from Oakland.

There were no customers in the store when the robbery occurred, said police spokeswoman Mayra Lewis.

Police ask anyone with information about this armed robbery to call Detective Brandon Bertram at (209) 668-5550, ext. 6626, or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.stancrimetips.org, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.

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