Drive-In Robberies of California Jewelry Stores

PHOTO: A pair of drive-in burglaries have California police on the hunt for four suspects who backed cars into jewelry store windows so they could grab the jewelry and run.
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A pair of drive-in burglaries have California police on the hunt for four suspects who backed cars into jewelry store windows so they could grab the jewelry and run.

Police say surveillance video from both the Atwater and Merced Goldsmith Jeweler locations are almost identical. The video shows a suspect backing a car into the glass windows of the stores while others stand by. Once the car has smashed through, they rushed inside the store, and minutes later were seen running back out.

The first attempt in Atwater, around 1:50 a.m. Wednesday, was unsuccessful and the suspects left empty-handed. Police said they were stopped by a metal security gate inside the window.

Two hours later and six miles away, the suspects backed a second car into the Merced store, this time breaking through the gate and grabbing handfuls of jewelry.

"Entry in both incidents was made in a similar fashion with similar vehicles," said Detective Armando Echevarria of the Atwater Police Department. "It's an ongoing investigation for both departments, but obviously my findings will be sent to the Merced Police as well."

Echevarria said both store locations have the same owners. They declined to speak with ABCNews.com.

ABC News affiliate KFSN in Fresno reports that Goldsmith Jewelers in Merced was robbed at gunpoint several weeks ago with the thief smashing display cases with a hammer and grabbing handfuls of jewelry.

Police from Merced County say they have seen an increase in robberies and burglaries recently, but Echevarria says it is hard to say why the four suspects targeted the two jewelry stores.

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