LOS ANGELES (CNS/FOX 11) - Police announced Thursday the arrests of 10 suspects, five of them juveniles, in a coordinated, swiftly executed smash-and-grab takeover robbery of a Koreatown jewelry store.
The robbery occurred about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Cross Jewelry store inside the Korean Town Center Mall in the 900 block of Western Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
When officers arrived at the scene, the suspects had fled in a getaway van, but investigators learned that about nine of them, armed with handguns and sledge hammers, had overpowered store employees and stole several hundred expensive designer watches, police said.
"After overpowering employees and holding them at gunpoint, the suspects proceeded to smash the display cases with the sledge hammers and removed the watches,'' according to an LAPD statement. "Within a couple of minutes the suspects were done with their operation and exited the store to a waiting getaway van.''
Police called it "a well-planned, coordinated and practiced operation.''
The investigation led detectives to a number of locations in Los Angeles and nearby cities, police said.
"Olympic area officers were able to take two suspects into custody in the City of Covina after a GPS tracking device embedded in the watches was tracked to a vehicle that was on the move in that city,'' according to the LAPD.
Detectives then identified several other possible suspect locations and overnight arrested eight more suspects, five of them juveniles, police said.
They also recovered three firearms, a number of sledge hammers and several hundred watches stolen during the robbery, according to the LAPD.
The suspects' names were not immediately made available.