Other Crimes May Be Linked : Boys Rob Reseda Jeweler, Shoot Fleeing Employee

Times Staff Writer

Three boys described by witnesses as 12 to 15 years old shot an employee of a Reseda jewelry store Tuesday in a robbery that may be related to a series of similar recent crimes, Los Angeles police said.

The robbers fled with an undetermined amount of valuables. Detective Robert Johansen said the three boys entered Talbert Jewelers on Sherman Way about 3:45 p.m. and ordered the four employees to the floor.

One of the youths smashed three jewelry cases with a sledgehammer, and another loaded valuables into a bag. The third held the employees at bay with what police believe was a .38-caliber handgun, Johansen said.


When the store’s credit manager, Ron Flury, 48, of Sylmar, tried to escape through the rear door, the armed youth fired twice, striking Flury once in the left arm, Johansen said.

Red Pontiac

The robbers then escaped west on Sherman Way in a late-model, red, four-door Pontiac, Johansen said.

Flury was taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where he was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

“They were just kids, just punk kids,” Flury said in an interview. “They came barging in the store, and I thought, ‘Trouble.’ The whole thing was very scary. We’re still counting to see how much we lost.

“I’ve been through robberies before, but not like this. They were mean-looking kids. And the kid with the gun said, ‘Hit the floor,’ and that’s about when I made my move. I ran out and up a staircase. I got hit in the arm and was lucky to escape with that.”

No customers were in the store at the time it was robbed, Johansen said.

“This may be connected to a series of jewelry store robberies we’ve had throughout the Western states,” he said. “It’s something we have to check into.” He said the way the crimes were committed is similar.


Bellevue, Wash., Robbery

Johansen said the crimes include a daring daytime robbery last month of about $300,000 from a jewelry store in Bellevue, Wash.

After that robbery, which police say was committed by four Los Angeles gang members, one of the suspects, a 15-year-old boy from South-Central Los Angeles, was arrested as he prepared to board a plane for Southern California. The three other suspects are still at large, Johansen said.

Police in Bellevue said groups of teen-age thieves pulled similar robberies last summer at jewelry stores in shopping malls in Northern California and Tacoma, Wash.

Although the same youths may not have been involved in all of the recent robberies, police have speculated that an adult ringleader may be planning the crimes and enlisting street-wise youths to commit them, Los Angeles Police Sgt. Bob Jackson said last month.