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This is the moment a jewelry store owner in California single-handedly defended his store from being robbed by armed thieves smashing up glass in his shop.
Amazing surveillance footage shows Usman Bhatti, owner of Maaz Jewelers in Tanofran Mall in San Bruno, California, shove away a suspect who ran into his store and began breaking the display case.
In the clip Bhatti, quickly and inststicntively can then be seen pulling out a gun and scaring the culprit and five other suspects who fled the scene, away.
The news comes in the wake of robbery and looting attempts in stores across the state after soft policies of progressive Los Angeles County DA George Gascón.
Bhatti, who had a concealed carry permit, faced off against armed thieves on January 21.
San Bruno Police officers responded to an attempted robbery of a jewelry store around 1.06pm, according to the force’s press release.
The release said five male suspects approached the store and one pulled out a crowbar to enter the jeweler’s as Bhatti yelled for him to stop.
The release said five male suspects approached the store and one pulled out a crowbar to enter the jeweler’s as Bhatti yelled for him to stop
In the clip Bhatti can then be seen pulling up a gun and scaring the culprit, who fled the scene, away
Amazing surveillance footage shows Usman Bhatti (pictured), owner of Maaz Jewelers in Tanofran Mall in San Bruno, California shove away a suspect who ran into his store
As the burglar began to smash up glass he then turned to Bhatti, as if poised to hit him with the crowbar.
Bhatti drew a firearm at the suspect, who then ran off while another suspect pulled out a gun and pointed it a the store owner.
All five suspects fled away from the store. No one was injured and no weapons were used in the incident.
The police release said the suspects were described as ‘males in their teens to early 20’s’.
Speaking to FOX KTVU, Bhatti said: ‘I’m not trying to be a hero or a macho man.
‘It just happened very quick and I had no choice.’
Bhatti’s ordeal with the armed smash-and-grab gang is one of several across California in the past year, many expressing frustration at DA Gascón’s handling of criminals.
The passage of Proposition 47 in 2014 downgraded charges of property theft of less than $950 in value from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Non-violent property crimes under $950 have been downgraded to misdemeanors, while two or more people conspiring to ‘cheat and defraud any person or any property, by any means which are in themselves criminal’ face no more than one year in county prison, a fine of $10,000 or a combination of the two.
On Friday, the county’s Registrar’s Office approved a recall petition for Gascón in a bid to remove the progressive DA in favor of someone harder on crime.
Campaigners can now collect signatures to remove him from office, in their efforts to garner support from the required 10% of the county’s registered voters (just over 560,000 people) by July 6, the Los Angeles Times reported.
All five suspects fled away from the store. No one was injured and no weapons were used in the incident
Frustrated Californians have struggled to deal with Gascón’s stance of the criminal justice system.
Since he was elected in 2020, juveniles aren’t being charged as adults and the DA has been softer regarding misdemeanors which are related to substance abuse and mental illness.
Just last week a group of thieves, two of whom didn’t even bother covering their faces, were caught on camera filling trash bags with cosmetics at an Ulta Beauty salon in Los Angeles County as a security alarm blared and fed-up shoppers groaned.
Earlier this month horrifying surveillance footage also caught a gang of hammer-wielding thugs swiped upward of $110,000 in jewelry from a California mall.
A map shows the locations of some of the major smash-and-grab robberies that have recently taken place in California
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón (left) and California Governor Gavin Newsom (right) have been criticized for their soft-on-crime policies
Nine men stormed a San Jose shopping center January 3 and began smashing glass display cases at three stores as terrified employees ran for cover.
The thieves, whose faces were obscured by masks and hoodies, made off with gold necklaces and other valuables.
The spate of robberies that saw stores in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area ransacked by hordes of looters in recent months was organized on social media by people who often did not know each other, police investigating the incidents revealed last month.
‘This isn’t “The Godfather” by any stretch,’ said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, of the string of ‘smash and grab’ robberies plaguing the Southern California community.
‘It’s the modern version of “Hey, there’s a party tonight” and suddenly you have 100 kids showing up.’
Wagstaffe is one of several San Francisco prosecutors tasked with tackling the daunting task of quelling organized retail theft, as part of a newly formed coalition of prosecutors investigating the incidents.
The task force, comprised of several Bay Area attorneys, further revealed that robbers used Snapchat and other social-media apps and messaging services to coordinate their heists.
The news comes amidst a worry among Californians around the rise in violent crime, following the horrifying case of Brianna Kupfer, 24, who was murdered this month at the Los Angeles furniture store where she was working.
Her alleged killer Shawn Laval Smith, 31, was booked into a Los Angeles jail after he was tracked down in Pasadena a day after the Los Angeles Police Department named him as the top suspect in the random, unprovoked slaying.
According to the latest crime data on Neighborhood Scout, crime rate in San Bruno is ‘considerably higher than the national average across all communities in America from the largest to the smallest’.
It added: ‘The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in San Bruno is 1 in 42.
The end of 2021 saw a drop in crime rate in an otherwise violent year with record high murders
‘Based on FBI crime data, San Bruno is not one of the safest communities in America.
‘Relative to California, San Bruno has a crime rate that is higher than 71% of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes.’
The surge of robberies comes as California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new initiatives this month to combat the rising crime rate after packages discarded by thieves near the Union Pacific tracks in downtown Los Angeles made the site look ‘like a third-world country.’
California’s Proposition 47 – lighter sentences for thieves
Proposition 47 was passed by California voters on November 5, 2014.
It made some ‘non-violent’ property crimes, where the value of the stolen goods does not exceed $950, into misdemeanors.
It also made some ‘simple’ drug possession offenses into misdemeanors, and allows past convictions for these charges to be reduced to a misdemeanor by a court.
Under California law, though, if two or more person’s conspire to ‘cheat and defraud any person or any property, by any means which are in themselves criminal’ they can face no more than one year in county prison, a fine of $10,000 or a combination of the two.