Two robbers pepper-sprayed six people inside a Montana Avenue jewelry store Friday afternoon before smashing several glass display cases and nabbing the goods.
The thieves bolted with the loot from Cabochon Fine Jewelry, at 1426 Montana Ave., according to the Santa Monica Police Department.
"It appears they were possibly wearing gas masks and had a large container of pepper spray," said Sgt. Richard Lewis.
John Hathorn, of Pence Hathorn Silver Partners Trust on 14th and Montana, broke the news to Santa Monica Patch. He said "police quickly arrived setting up a perimeter to catch the suspects. Numerous witnesses were on the street."
The activity whipped up commotion in the upscale shopping district. Lisa Gamo, who works at the Pence Hathorn Silver Partners Trust office, said she saw police cars "haul butt" up Montana Avenue shortly after the incident at 1:25 p.m.
"The girls who worked at the store were sitting outside... the cops were helping them and the ambulance came," she said.
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Lewis said the robbers were identified as thin, black males in their 20s wearing dark hooded sweatshirts.
They were last seen fleeing southbound in 800 block of alley 14, he said.