Attempted jewelry heist at The Shops of Mission Viejo

Local jeweler hit during daylight hours

Saddleback Police assisted during jewelry robbery. (Andrea Clemett)

Saddleback Police assisted during jewelry robbery. (Andrea Clemett)

An attempted smash and grab robbery occurred at Fredric Rubel’s fine jewelry store in The Shops of Mission Viejo. Fredric Rubel is known for its classic customs designs, Ideal-cut diamonds and as a stockist of Rolex.

Hammers shattered display cases but the suspects were unsuccessful in retaining any merchandise. The Mission Viejo Police Services apprehended one suspect and were seeking another accomplice who fled the scene at about 4:45 p.m. on March 12.

The police warned the public to stay away from the site as the investigation was ongoing. Police blocked mall exits in order to apprehend the perpetrators.

The suspects were described as black males, dressed in dark clothing with slim builds and between 25 and 30 years of age. Authorities advised the community to contact the police if anything suspicious was noticed.

Authorities cleared the mall and surrounding area of suspects after an hour of active search. In March of 2017 there were 18 incidents of shoplifting in the immediate vicinity, three of which were classified by police as strong-arm robberies according to Neighborhood Scout, a site that compiles crime-related statistics.

The investigation was closed at approximately 7 a.m. the next day when seven suspects were apprehended. With the assistance from the CHP, Saddleback College Police, OCSD Air Support Unit and the Costa Mesa Police Department, the Sheriff’s department confirmed that no injuries or gunfire followed the incident.

Shots were fired at the Galleria during an attempted robbery at Bhindi Jewelers in Glendale on March 10. Mission Viejo Police investigators are reaching out to the Glendale Police Department in order to uncover a possible connection between the two jewelry robberies.