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Attempted Jewelry Robbery In Lafayette Goes Wrong, Owner Starts Shooting

An attempted holdup at a Lafayette jewelry store went wrong Friday - for the bad guys.

Three men attempting to rob the store in downtown Lafayette Friday got a rude reception when - after two of the men began attacking the store display cases with hammers - the owner responded by firing two shots at them.

Contra Costa County Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said Saturday that two masked men entered Prive Jewelers in the 3500 block of Mount Diablo Blvd. at 1:45 p.m. Friday and began to attack the store's display cases with hammers.

The owner, at the rear of the store at the time, thought that the noise was the result of gunshots being fired at him and armed himself, firing two rounds at the two men in his store, Lee said.

With that, the two would-be robbers made their way out of the store and into a waiting car which sped off - colliding with another vehicle as the driver sought to escape the area, according to Lee.

About an hour after the attempted robbery an unidentified 24-year-old man "showed up" at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley at 2:15 p.m., complaining of a gunshot wound, Lee said. He was later transferred to another hospital as investigators believe he was in fact shot while attempting to rob the Lafayette store.

The store owner, whose name was not given for his own protection, was not hurt during the incident.

Anyone with information on the case, perhaps someone who caught the license plate number of the getaway car, should call 925 646-2441.

Really? February 19, 2011 at 02:52 AM
Is the jeweler okay - physically? Are the police charging the jeweler or is this, I hope, considered self defense? And why not identify which jewelry store near Postino? Just wondering.
Dolly February 19, 2011 at 03:06 AM
I hope it was self defense, using a fire arm to stop a person from smashing jewelry cases is indefensible.
CJ February 19, 2011 at 04:35 AM
The act of stealing ones property and violently(smashing windows is a violent act) is certainly justification for using a firearm. Sounds like he hit one. Nice.
Carol Ann Long February 19, 2011 at 06:06 AM
I thought you said crime was down in Lafayette!!
carrera February 19, 2011 at 06:15 AM
The first one, right next to the two restaurants (Lily's and another one) next to the Round Up. The window of the jewelry store is boarded up right now.
Tuhmaduh February 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM
I hope he got at least 1. Too bad we taxpayers still have to pay for the jailing of the other 2 accomplices if they get caught.
Amanda February 19, 2011 at 02:41 PM
We will also be paying his hospital bill, as he is at Alta Bates right now.
Brad Katkowsky February 19, 2011 at 02:51 PM
The window is boarded up down there. Where did his shots go? If one went into the desperado (nice shooting there, Tex) where did the other one go???
Judy Nielsen February 19, 2011 at 03:15 PM
We commend the merchant, but what about innocent bystanders who might have been in the way of a bullet? Years ago, we had a neighbor who owned a 7/11 franchise & got tired of being robbed, so he got a gun & pulled it out the next time. The robber was faster, & our neighbor was shot & killed. It was the only robbery he did not survive.
Curious February 19, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Strawman arguments - criminals don't both abiding by laws. They can chose to shoot first at any time without any provocation. It is the owners right to protect his life if he has reason to fear for it. Remember: When seconds count - the police are only minutes away.
Julie VonHacht February 19, 2011 at 03:54 PM
Curious: nice thought, however sometime by the time the police police arrive, its all over.
Brad Katkowsky February 19, 2011 at 03:59 PM
I think that was the point Curious made, Julie. He/She was just being subtle. It's a tough thing to quarterback on Monday morning. We weren't there. We don't know what was said or done, really, and it was obvious those guys didn't come into the store selling Girl Scout Cookies.
David Smith February 19, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Good for the jeweler! Lucky we possess the right to bear arms and defend ourselves. Good point, however, about innocent bystanders. Chris Rock has the right take on this issue: if bullets cost $5,000, there wouldn't be any innocent bystanders!
Lafayette Curmudgeon February 19, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Get him to a firing range. He ought not miss! Dolly, seriously? These thugs come in and start swinging a sledge hammer? What's he supposed to do, cower in the corner and hope the next swing isn't against his skull? The hell with that. Shoot to kill.
Big Daddy February 19, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Shoot to kill....if these thugs are not stopped, you or your children nay be next. They were armed but were caught by surprise by a brave shop owner. This is just another example why Open. Carry is the smartest defense we as lawful citizens have to protect our families from ever worsening violent crime. "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns".
Lafayette Curmudgeon February 19, 2011 at 07:13 PM
I'm not a great fan of open carry as conceived in CA, 2d amendment absolutist though I am. I'd like to get us to a shall issue CCW state, since an unloaded firearm isn't very useful.
Karen February 19, 2011 at 10:45 PM
The robbers brought the violence with them when they brought hammers to smash. They expected to waltz out unchallenged. They deserve all they got and more. They expected to overcome a peaceful place with violence and they got a surprise that I wish they'd get more often. Perhaps it is a disgusting thought to have to go up the violence curve and then down again to prove that you will not tolerate random street crime. As a former Oakland resident I have nothing but pride at the decision of the shop owner to take an immediate stand to push back at these thugs. It is all a thug understands.
rabidrabbit February 20, 2011 at 02:30 AM
Even Mark Twain said never bring up a loaded gun in your story unless you plan to use it.
bschoenb February 20, 2011 at 03:04 AM
These guys are lucky this man showed restraint. Just two shots fired.
Shon Sherwood February 20, 2011 at 03:24 AM
All other arguments aside I'll take any bets for prive being robbed again in 2011. I might even be willing to give odds.
kevin February 20, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Totally agree with Karen. I, too, am an Oakland ex-pat and am just sick over that city's demise into serious daily violence. These punks come through the tunnel thinking it's easy pickings out here and we all need to be vigilant when we see something that looks odd going on in our community. Don't be afraid to speak up and call the police. I commend the jewelry store owner, but I also am sure other criminals will try it again there.
eliz February 21, 2011 at 12:35 AM
He brought out his gun because he thought they were using a shotgun. He thought his life was in danger and likely it was. The law is that you can protect yourself but you cannot use a gun to protect property.
Gr8Wahl February 21, 2011 at 08:19 PM
Very proud of the owner of Prive'. Yes he showed restraint only firing two bullets but he did what he needed to do. I am glad he is safe and will continue to be a part of our community. Robbers BEWARE!
karen February 21, 2011 at 10:49 PM
Dolly, Dolly, Dolly. Those poor souls need a place to stay, can I give them your address so you can help them and all the people that you feel sorry for? If I was home when these low life people came into my house and took thousands of dollars worth of my jewlery, including special family pcs from Europe, last year, I would shoot to kill if I had a gun. It would stop them from doing this to another true victim and help with the over population!
Karen February 21, 2011 at 11:22 PM
Dear karen with a small case k, This is from Karen with the upper case K, First, I'm sick to think of the loss of your special family heirlooms that were stolen from your house last year. You don't want to think about how nasty it would have been for you had you been present. At times, these people are pretty gone/high on various substances, which gives them the fuel to take risks/do crimes. Having been forced to identify/witness such people close up, very unwillingly, you would not have enjoyed their disgusting and gross company. And thugs are very unrepentant and belligerent too, which is amazing but usually true. Anyway, I'm very sorry you had such an intrusion and loss, but be glad you did not have to "decide" whether to shoot the thugs or not.

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