Two men brandishing a knife tried to hold-up a South Pasadena jewelry store Friday morning (Dec. 14), but were run off by the store’s employees.

Nothing was stolen and there were no injuries connected with the botched hold-up that took place about 11:20 a.m. Friday, according to Jean Boujekian, the owner of Vana Watch & Jewelry, 1401 Mission St.

“We had two suspects come in the store right around 11:20 a.m. and they wanted to look at my Rolex watches and I asked them for an I.D. and a credit card,” Boujekian said during a brief interview in his store after the hold-up. “They didn’t furnish an I.D. and credit card but they came out with a knife and tried to stab me and tried to take the watches. We were able to chase them away.”

The photos are from the store’s security cameras. Courtesy of Vana Watch & Jewelry.

Boujekian immediately called police. The jewelry store sits directly across the street from the So Pas Police Station.

Crimes like this are rare in South Pasadena,” said Brian Solinsky, interim police chief. “The officers responded quickly and were able to collect a lot of evidence, including photos of the suspects. We will be working vigorously to identify, locate and arrest the suspects as soon as possible. I am grateful that nobody was hurt during this unfortunate event. As a reminder to all, stay alert and aware of your surroundings. If you see anything suspicious please call the Police Department to report it immediately.”

The photos are from the store’s security cameras. Courtesy of Vana Watch & Jewelry.

The two bolted from the store empty-handed and hopped in a 2006  Chevrolet Malibu, license plate 5YAC399, according to Boujekian.

Police were on the scene almost immediately and the investigation is ongoing. Also, he said So Pas residents came to their aid.

“We had multiple citizens that stopped to try and help out,” he said. “We want to thank the police and the South Pasadena citizens. This is an incredible community.”

The two suspects were African-American with one standing about 5 ft. 8 inches while the other was taller at 6 ft. 2 inches, Boujekian said.  The taller suspect was about 120 pounds, he added.

Ironically, Boujekian also said that his store was broken into afterhours about month ago and about $10,000 worth of watches were stolen.

“That’s why I have the security glass in the front window now,” he said.

Read all about the police investigation into the botched hold-up in the print edition of The Review.

Steve Whitmore
Author

Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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