Two bold thieves reached behind a Corona jewelry counter and stole nearly $30,000 worth of engagement rings when an owner's back was turned, and the crime was caught on surveillance video.
The incident occurred at 3:15 p.m. inside the Superior Market at 1130 W. Sixth St., according to the Corona Police Department.
The pair walked into the store, approached the jewelry counter, Franzia Jewels, and asked about the jewelry.
While the business owner turned around, one of the men leaned over and removed two trays of engagement rings, according to a police news release.
They fled through the front doors.
"I started screaming and calling for help," said business co-owner Martha Lilian Franzia.
She and co-owner Hugo Franzia are devastated by the loss. They said the men asked to have their own jewelry appraised before the theft.
"They were laughing; they were just having a good time," Hugo Franzia said. "They were canvassing the store as if they'd done this many times before."
A witness told the store owner the suspect got into a white van, but that witness wasn’t available to talk to police.
Hugo Franzia said that a customer told him one of the men had a gun in his back pocket. Police did not say if the thieves were armed.
The suspects were described as black men in their mid-20s. One was 6 feet tall with a medium build, short black hair and a short beard, in a white T-shirt, black pants and brown boots.
The other man was 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium build, short black hair and a manicured short beard, in a black shirt and gray sweatpants.
Anyone who recognizes the men is asked to call Corona police Senior Detective Robert Gonzalez at 951-817-5837.