Armed Jewelry Shop Worker Fends Off Knife-Wielding Would-Be Robber in South Pasadena

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Two robbers fled empty-handed Friday when they tried to rob a South Pasadena jewelry store and stab the owner, but were chased off by the owner's nephew, who drew a handgun, authorities said.

Surveillance cameras were rolling as two men, one of them armed with a knife, tried to rob a South Pasadena jewelry store on Dec. 14, 2018. One of the workers chased them off with a handgun. (Credit: South Pasadena Police Department)

Surveillance cameras were rolling as two men, one of them armed with a knife, tried to rob a South Pasadena jewelry store on Dec. 14, 2018. One of the workers chased them off with a handgun. (Credit: South Pasadena Police Department)

The failed crime unfolded  shortly before 11 a.m. at Vana Watch and Jewelry, at Mission Street and Fremont Avenue, theSouth Pasadena Police Department said in a written statement. The owner was working at the business, along with his nephew.

Two men entered the store and asked to look at Rolex watches, Sgt. Tony Abdalla said. The owner asked them to provide ID first.

One of the two men then demanded the workers turn over all the store's Rolex watches, Abdalla said. One of the would-be robbers pulled a knife and attempted to stab the owner, he said.

“All of a sudden, this guy pulls a knife out of his pocket, and he lunges at me,” store owner Jean Boujekian told KTLA. “I blocked the knife. Luckily, I didn’t get any scratches.”

“Luckily, my nephew was really quick. He pulled out the gun,” Boujekian said.

The owner's nephew grabbed a handgun from behind the counter and pointed it at the attacker, causing both men to flee from the store, police said.

No shots were fired. The nephew told police he couldn't get a clear shot without fear of striking his uncle.

Although he ended up unharmed, Boujekian said he wouldn't advise others to fight back against a robber.

"In hindsight, I probably would have never tried to do that. I have three kids," he said. "It could have gone really wrong. It wasn’t worth it."

The failed robbers remained at large Friday night, Abdalla said. Police described them as two Black men between 25 and 30 years old. One stood about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 200 pounds, while the other was about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds.

Anyone with information was asked to contact South Pasadena police detectives at 626-403-7280. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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