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Ventura County Focus | East County /THOUSAND OAKS

Suspects Questioned in Jewelry Store Heist

March 28, 1998|SCOTT HADLY

Sheriff's investigators continued to search late Friday for a gunman who took about $100,000 worth of merchandise from an East Thousand Oaks Boulevard jewelry store.

Deputies were questioning two men suspected of being accomplices of the man who robbed The Gold Store on Thursday morning. Neither has been arrested, said Senior Deputy Ed Tumbleson.

"They're helping the detectives find the other guy," Tumbleson said. The three men are believed to be from the Los Angeles area, authorities said.

Store clerks triggered silent alarms after a man dressed in a black sweatshirt and black baggy pants entered the store with a gun about 10:15 a.m.

But the man moved quickly, pointing his gun at a clerk and then scooping precious stones and rings from the trays at the front of the store, said Gary Morandi, the store president.

The man apparently was nervous, first demanding that the clerks lie down, then telling them to get up. At one point he pulled the hammer back on his gun and pointed it at a clerk's face, Morandi said.

The man ran from the store just before deputies arrived, Morandi said.

Witnesses said the man escaped in a white Chevrolet station wagon that was found two blocks from the store. The car had been stolen in Los Angeles.

Deputies picked up the other two men wandering through Thousand Oaks. They were carrying no money or valuables and were lost, officials said.

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