A North Fair Oaks jewelry store owner said three masked men -- one armed with a gun and two with hammers -- tried to rob his shop Wednesday afternoon but fled seconds later after he pulled out his handgun.
Store surveillance video of the incident shows the three men rushing into Plaza Jewelers at 3303 Middlefield Road at about 12:30 p.m., all wearing sweatshirts with hoods over their heads and masks covering the bottom half of their faces.
The video shows one large man pointing a gun at an employee sitting behind a counter at the front entrance. The store's owners are behind a counter near the back of the room, along with a customer.
"He says, 'Give me your money,'" said Victoria Velasquez, the adult daughter of one of the store's owners, Rosalba Velasquez.
The other owner, Alfonso Angela, said he spotted the men from the store's window and grabbed his gun, hidden behind the counter, before they entered.
The two men with hammers, one carrying a bag, were approaching the glass cases with jewelry inside when they saw Angela preparing to fire.
"They had hammers like they were going to smash the cases," Victoria Velasquez said. "Then they heard the (gun) cocking noise and they ran out really fast."
The video shows the men making a hasty exit within seconds.
Shaking, Rosalba Velasquez called 911. San Mateo County sheriff's deputies immediately spotted the suspects in a white, four-door sedan and took after it, according to sheriff's office spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt.
Minutes later, the car crashed at Bay and Marsh roads in Menlo Park, hitting a utility pole and a white SUV waiting at the intersection for the light to turn. The driver of that vehicle was unharmed, Rosenblatt said.
Four men jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot, she said. A manhunt of the vicinity that also involved the Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Redwood City police departments, search dogs and a California Highway Patrol plane ensued.
By approximately 4:15 p.m. the area was deemed clear, and two adult male suspects were in custody, according to a sheriff's office statement released Wednesday night.
The names of the suspects have not yet been released. Two suspects remain at large, according to the sheriff's office.
A handgun thought to be associated with the attempted robbery was located by deputies within a block of the crashed suspect vehicle, according to the sheriff's office.
Although neighboring North Fair Oaks businesses have been robbed, this was the first time Plaza Jewelers was targeted, Victoria Velasquez said. "We're just really grateful that nothing happened," she said.
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