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Highway robbery: Jewelry store employee relieved of cash, gems on I-5

A jewelry store employee was robbed of cash and precious stones Friday night after being forced to pull over on Interstate 5 in Oceanside, authorities said.

The employee of Brilliant Diamonds in La Palma in Orange County was driving north on I-5 after finishing a business deal with a jewelry store in El Cajon, according to Sgt. Dustin Lopez of the San Diego Sheriff's Department.

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Near Harbor Drive in Oceanside, another driver began flashing his lights at the man, Lopez said. When the employee slowed his vehicle, he noticed a third driver pointing a gun at him, Lopez said.

The jewelry store employee pulled to the side of the freeway, as did the two other drivers, blocking his vehicle. The driver with the gun demanded cash and jewelry.

After the theft, the two vehicles sped off, Lopez said.

[Updated 10:29 a.m. PDT: Authorities did provide an estimate of the value of the robbers' haul but called it "substantial.]

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered by San Diego Crime Stoppers (888 580-8477) for information leading to an arrest.

tony.perry@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATsandiego

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