Authorities on Thursday released surveillance footage of an attempted robbery at a Studio City jewelry store in hopes of finding the two men responsible, both of whom were able to flee after the shop owner opened fired at them.
The incident happened the afternoon of May 25 at a business on Ventura Boulevard near Coldwater Canyon Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Footage shows the two men entering the store and smashing jewelry cases. One of them is seen using a large canister of pepper spray. The business owner soon open fired at the men, prompting one of them to use a hammer to break the glass door to exit, the video shows.
The pepper spray was used on the store owner and two customers, the Police Department said. The man also allegedly swung his hammer at the proprietor.
"In fear and in defense of her and the customers’ lives, the owner used her legally owned and registered handgun and fired one round at the suspects," LAPD said in a statement. "Neither suspects were hit and they immediately fled the location without any property."
The shop owner, who wished to remain unidentified for safety reasons, told KTLA via phone: “There was no way that I would allow someone to come into my store and treat my customers or me like that.”
Following the incident, paramedics were seen washing pepper spray off shoppers, with two people transported to the hospital, Detective Jennifer Hammer told KTLA. She described the spray used as “a large canister, like a bear spray.”
The business had been robbed before, once in October 2007 then again in March 2010, Hammer said.
Authorities described one of the men as a 30- to 40-year-old man about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing around 150 pounds. His receding dark hair was closely shaved, police said.
The second man appeared to be 40 to 50 years old, around 6 feet tall and weighing about 175 pounds. He had dark hair, a mustache and a goatee.
Anyone with information can call detectives 818-754-8424 or 1-877-LAPD-247 during non-business hours. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), using the mobile app "P3 Tips" or visiting lacrimestoppers.org.