Commentary

A broken jewelry store window is seen in 2018.

A broken jewelry store window is seen in 2018. (Julija Kumpinovica / Shutterstock)

 By Samantha Chang  January 6, 2022 at 7:06am

Four men were arrested after allegedly attempting a New Year’s Eve smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store in Upland, California, a suburb of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County.

The thugs’ attempted crime was thwarted because the shop owner wielded his legal firearm, the Upland Police Department said on Instagram.

“On 12/30/21, at about 2:37 p.m., four suspects entered a jewelry store on the 300 block of S. Mountain Ave in an attempt smash-and-grab robbery,” police said.

The thugs sprayed bear spray on store employees during the brazen heist, but no one was seriously injured.

“The suspects deployed bear spray on everyone in the business, however, the business owner thwarted the attack by brandishing a legally-possessed firearm,” police said. “The suspects fled in a get-away vehicle that was waiting right outside.”

The Upland PD contacted detectives at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, whose investigations revealed that the suspects were part of a local criminal street gang who may have committed “other recent violent robberies in Claremont and Chino Hills.”

In partnership with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, the Upland PD arrested four suspects and charged them with various felonies.

Darren Goodman, the chief of the Upland Police Department, praised all the officers involved in the crackdown. He said police are still looking for a fifth suspect.

“Five thugs tried to rob a jewelry store near 300 S. Mountain Ave,” Goodman tweeted. “Their attack was thwarted by the business owner who brandished a gun. [The] thugs ran out of the business to a waiting car.

“Thanks to @UplandPD & ⁦⁦@SBCountyCheriff⁩, 4 of the 5 thugs have been arrested.”

Five thugs tried to rob a jewelry store near 300 S. Mountain Ave. Their attack was thwarted by the business owner who brandished a gun. They thugs ran out of the business to a waiting car. Thanks to @UplandPD & ⁦⁦@sbcountysheriff⁩, 4 of the 5 thugs have been arrested. pic.twitter.com/6H495Ajiwy

— Chief Darren Goodman (@UplandPD_Chief) January 1, 2022

Not surprisingly, the suspects had criminal records, with three of the four out on parole:

  • Dalon La Flora, a parolee from Los Angeles.
  • Gerald Kay, a parolee from Fontana.
  • Jonathan Williamson from Upland.
  • Jahaad Crawford, who is wanted for an outstanding federal probation warrant.

Smash-and-grab robberies are now commonplace in Democrat-run California, thanks to their defunding of police and leftist district attorneys’ refusal to prosecute crimes.

In this instance, the owner of the jewelry store likely saved his own life as well as those of his employees because his legal firearm stemmed the crime.

Because of the terrifying spike in smash-and-grab robberies, many Californians are buying guns to protect themselves.

Jewelry store inside a shopping center in LA, targeted today in a smash-and-grab pic.twitter.com/BcEnLRH40w

— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) December 3, 2021

Russell Stuart, the owner of the only gun shop in affluent Beverly Hills, said locals have been rushing out en masse to buy firearms amid the alarming crime waves infesting the liberal state.

“This morning I sold six shotguns in about an hour to people that say, ‘I want a home defense shotgun,’” Stuart told Los Angeles Magazine on Monday.

“Everyone has a general sense of constant fear, which is very sad,” he said.

NEW: @LACoSheriff releases new 2021 crime stats for L.A. County vs same time period in 2020.

Homicides: ⬆️ 95%

GTA: ⬆️ 40%

Rape: ⬆️ 7.8%

Agg. Assault: ⬆️ 12.9%

Arson: ⬆️ 22%

He says LASD will start processing more CCW permits due to “less cops, more crooks, less consequences.”

— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) June 2, 2021

This is ironic because California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States, and many of its residents are among the most vocal opponents of the Second Amendment right to bear arms in self-defense.

The catalyst for the recent boom in gun sales, Stuart said, was the May 2020 Black Lives Matter riots where gangs of looters pillaged Beverly Hills stores.

This siege apparently made delusional leftists realize that the off-the-charts crime waves they’ve emboldened and enabled could actually affect them, since robberies and murders are no longer limited to inner-city or poor neighborhoods.

Now that California has devolved into a lawless hellscape because of destructive left-wing policies, many Democrats are apparently waking up from their stupor.

While it’s better late than never for this tragic epiphany, things should never have been allowed to get this bad.

Samantha Chang is a politics writer, lawyer and financial editor based in New York City.

Samantha Chang is a politics writer and financial editor based in New York City.

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