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Calif. Manager Thwarts Jewelry Store Robbery

SAN DIEGO --

A local jewelry store manager pulled a risky move in an attempt to stop a trio of robbers inside the business.

Nicole Mills-Hasmann, the master jeweler and manager at Diamond Gallery, told 10News, "So I was sitting at my bench, and I was working and I looked up and that's when I seen him cutting the cases with a box cutter."

Mills-Hasmann told 10News a man used box cutters to try and cut through the silicone on one of the store's display cases while two women distracted an employee at a counter at a different location in the store.

Inside each display case were engagement rings with a total estimated value of $25,000 to $30,000.

10News learned management at the family-run Kearny Mesa store buzzes customers in, so once the suspected robbers were inside and managers confronted them about the box cutters, they attempted to leave but the doors were locked.

"It was like having animals in a cage, that's why I wanted to get them out, the police to get here, to get them out," said Mills-Hasmann

"And you were in the cage?" asked 10News reporter Craig Herrera.

"Yes, we were in the cage," said Mills-Hasmann.

Mills-Hasmann said the trio paced back and forth but did not threaten her or the employees inside. No other customers were inside the store at the time.

She told 10News if a similar incident were to happen again, she would not lock the doors and just let the people out.

The three people suspected in the incident were arrested, and the San Diego Police Department told 10News they are still reviewing the surveillance footage.

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