Video: Small business owners take California's crime wave into their own hands

Employees at a jewelry store in El Monte beat and kicked a man who tried to rob their business. Police are still investigating the case.

Employees at a jewelry store in California punched and kicked a man who tried to rob their business. A video was posted on social media showing the moment when several men chased the alleged thief out of the store.

El Monte police said the attempted robbery occurred Saturday afternoon at Meza's Jewelry on Main Street. According to local media, the incident began when the man entered the store armed with a hammer and smashed a display case. Police said the man sprayed the employees with pepper spray.

"I was trying to defend my family because as you could see he was hitting my dad and my uncle," one of the employees said in a statement collected by ABC7.

Retail robberies are on the rise

The video shows employees punching the suspect near the store's entrance. The man opens the door and flees the scene. According to media reports, the police are investigating the case and the alleged offender is still on the run. Several workers were treated for minor injuries.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. Last month, a video went viral of an attempted robbery in a 7-Eleven. It shows two workers beating the thief who tried to steal a trash can full of hundreds of cigarettes.

In the footage which went viral on social media, the thief can be seen walking through the store, grabbing handfuls of tobacco products and throwing them into the trash can. Employees can be heard in the background asking him to stop and demanding he leave. One worker grabs him and pushes him to the ground, while the other takes a wooden stick and beats him repeatedly. The man begs them to stop. 

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Retail robberies have boomed, mainly in California. In 2021, retailers lost about $94 billion due to theft, according to a National Retail Safety Survey report released in late 2022.

One of the main factors influencing this trend is the soft-hand anti-crime policies pushed by progressive district attorneys in cities such as Chicago, New York, Portland and San Francisco. These cities have implemented policies to not prosecute criminals who steal less than $950 worth of goods. These criminals are often reprimanded and released.