Armed robbers made off with possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewels Tuesday when they held up two men on 17th Street near Marguerita Avenue in Santa Monica's North of Montana neighborhood, police estimated.
The victims were jewelry distributors from Hong Kong, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. The robbery occurred between 4 and 4:30 p.m. and investigators were looking Tuesday evening for as many as three suspects, said Sgt. Richard Lewis.
"They just left a jewelry store on Montana [Avenue] and were headed to a private residence when they were accosted," he said.
Lewis said the couriers were headed to a private showing in the 500 block of 17th Street after leaving a jewelry store on Montana Avenue. Earlier in the day, they had been in downtown Los Angeles, he said.
The robbers—at least one of them had a handgun—took a backpack
containing then fled in a "dark-colored compact vehicle." Investigators are trying to determine the type and value of the jewelry, which could be in the ballpark of a couple hundred thousand dollars, the sergeant said, noting there is an "there is an extreme language barrier."
One robber was black and the other, either black or Hispanic, according
to Lewis. They were of medium build, wore dark hoodies, had bandanas over their faces, and they may have had an accomplice at the wheel of their getaway car.
A third suspect might have been driving a getaway car.