DOWNTOWN — Three people suspected of robbing a Glendale jewelry store Monday afternoon were detained on Interstate 105 following a pursuit into South Los Angeles, officials said.
A man and two women are being held by police following reports that they may have robbed Glendale's Jewelry Mart at 12:59 p.m. Monday, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
"The reason we were able to get on it so quickly was because we had so many people calling us," he said.
Police did not immediately release the trio's identities.
Several suspects entered the store on Brand Boulevard at Wilson Avenue and began smashing glass display cases to grab jewelry, Lorenz said. The store houses a variety of vendors who sell diamonds, watches and platinum jewelry pieces.
A Glendale Water & Power worker said he was entering the store to advise employees that the water was going to be shut off during repairs when he saw four to six suspects carrying large duffel bags walk in at the same time.
The worker, who did not want to be identified, "took off running" because he feared the worst. He said the robbery lasted about 20 seconds.
A woman, who declined to give her name for fear of retribution, said she was in the store to buy jewelry for her mother when the robbery occurred.
The woman, who was visibly shaken, said she headed to the back of the store when she suddenly heard shouting and a loud banging noise that sounded like gunshots.
The woman said she yelled at fellow customers, "Don't go out there" and began looking for a rear entrance or cubbyhole to hide from the suspects.
Witnesses reported seeing the suspects entering at least two cars, including a burgundy Buick, Lorenz said. They provided police with descriptions of the vehicles and suspects.
Glendale police quickly alerted the California Highway Patrol and Burbank, Pasadena and Los Angeles police departments about the fleeing suspects.
A helicopter aided police in tracking them down, he added.
Police took the trio to the Glendale Police Department on Monday afternoon, Lorenz said.
Their vehicles were also being towed to the department, where forensic investigators will search the vehicles, he said.