One suspect was armed with a gun, another pepper sprayed employees, and a third was stopped by other merchants.
PHOENIX — An encounter with two customers turned into an assault and robbery for jewelry store employees in West Phoenix.
Luz Londono was getting ready to close the store around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday when two women stopped by Alvarado Jewelry looking to purchase something. The store is located inside the Mercado de los Cielos at 75th Avenue and Thomas Road.
“We were there helping them patiently for quite a while,” said Isabel, another employee. “They seemed very friendly and nice.”
For 30 minutes, Luz and Isabel showed the women chains and pendants, until they decided to buy several items.
While Luz prepared the jewelry and placed it in boxes, Isabel tried to ring them up, but the credit cards the customers provided were not working.
As Isabel attempted to swipe the card one more time, one of the women is seen on surveillance footage looking at her hands at something she was holding: a pepper spray bottle.
RELATED: Phoenix used car salesman accused of stealing from employers and customers
The woman raised her hand and sprayed Luz for several seconds toward her face and then turned the bottle at Isabel.
As the two employees took a step back and began coughing, the two customers grabbed the jewelry, and their credit cards, and took off running.
The jewelry was worth $4,000.
“I panicked because that had never happened to me,” said Luz. “At no time did they generate mistrust, I [didn’t] suspect that they were not good ladies.”
Luz was the most injured. Her left eye got hit the worst.
EN ESPAÑOL: Empeladas de joyería fueron roseadas con gas pimienta para robarles, la policía busca a las sospechosas
3 jewelry stores targeted in 3 days at West Phoenix mall
That theft was only one of three jewelry store robberies that happened in three consecutive days at this shopping center, located right next to Desert Sky Mall.
Phoenix Police said an armed suspect robbed up to $30,000 worth of jewelry from a different business on Sunday.
Another woman was caught on camera reaching into a counter at a third store. She is seen grabbing items and trying to take off running, but Isabel said that woman was stopped by other merchants.
“You can’t trust no one nowadays,” she added.
Store owners told 12 News they are staying vigilant and working together to help prevent future attacks.
Latest Arizona News
Catch up on the latest news and stories on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.
RELATED: Police arrest, charge Valley man with identity theft and PPP fraud