A Costa Mesa jewelry store owner who police say was kidnapped Wednesday night and found bound and seriously injured the next morning in Santa Ana is a veteran of the jewelry and pawn business, according to the property manager for the store.
Costa Mesa police declined to provide new details about the case Friday. But property manager Bill Munce said the store owner opened Diamond and Jewelry Exchange at 1808 Newport Blvd. five years ago. The store’s website says the company has been doing business in Costa Mesa since 1987 and that the store sells and buys jewelry, watches, coins and gold items.
The Daily Pilot is not identifying the owner by name because he is the victim of a violent crime.
In a Facebook post early Thursday, the owner’s daughter, who lives in Kentucky, said the store was robbed by two men.
Luis Alvarado, who started working two months ago at Edward Hill Bakery a few doors down, said he met the owner and was invited to see the inside of the jewelry store. The owner told him he’s been in the Orange County area for years and used to have a store in Santa Ana.
Munce said he found out about the kidnapping when police arrived Thursday. “It was a shock,” he said.
Police responded at about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday to an alarm sounding at the jewelry store, the Costa Mesa Police Department said in a statement.
The door of the business was unlocked, but officers saw no signs of theft and the store’s safe was secure, police said.
“The business had closed at 6 p.m. and the owner could not be located,” according to the statement. “After speaking to the owner’s family, a missing-person report was initiated.”
Santa Ana police said they received a call around 11 p.m. Wednesday and found the store owner early Thursday bound and gagged with duct tape and with serious injuries in a parking lot near the 1200 block of East Dyer Road near the 55 Freeway. He was taken to a trauma center to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
Santa Ana police determined he had been the victim of a kidnapping and robbery in Costa Mesa and notified the Costa Mesa Police Department.
No arrests have been made in the case and police are continuing their investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call Costa Mesa police Det. David Sevilla at (714) 754-5360 or Sgt. Scott Stafford at (714) 754-4933.