Big Gunplay in Little Saigon

A jewelery store in Little Saigon, Orange County, California, has become a magnet for robbers in recent years. In 2012, there was an attempted robbery in which one of the bad guys was shot. In 2013, several shots were fired at a thief who fought with the store owner and escaped with a $9,000 watch. This week, another robbery attempt ended in gunfire as a store employee drove off two robbers who had smashed a display case . . .

From ocregister.com:

Two men wearing ski-type masks and hooded sweatshirts entered the store, used a hammer to break glass on a display case and began removing merchandise, Westminster police Officer Rachel Archambault said. One witness reported that one of the men may have been armed with a gun, she added.

A store employee pulled out a weapon and fired two shots at the robbers, Collins said.

You would think that word would spread within the criminal community that Tic Tock Fine Watches and Jewelry isn’t an easy target. Maybe they don’t read the papers. Maybe they all think they’re different or smarter than the previous stick-up artists. Or maybe they just can’t resist all that high grade bling.

I wouldn’t want someone who had escaped the communist takeover of Vietnam, reestablished himself half way across the world and built a thriving small business to be shooting at me.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar DJ9 says:

    If the easiest way we can reduce crime is through criminal attrition, I’m good with that.

    Although I’m surprised that CA authorities haven’t figured out a way to stop that type of response. I’d be pleasantly shocked to find out they endorsed it.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      It’s Orange County, and totally different from LA County. The OC is solidly Republican. The sales tax is lower, John Q. Taxpayer can actually get a CCW permit, and many of the police here are almost as pro-gun / pro-self defense as I am. This isn’t very far from my home in Brea, CA.

      Looks like another solid DGU.

      1. avatar SENTMKG says:

        I was just back in CA for some well earned time off for camping and the thought I walked away with was:

        God I love the weather, excluding the ludicrous drought, food and activities. But these dam politics ruin this state for me.

        1. avatar Sian says:

          California would be great if not for all the Californians.

      2. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

        Orange county contains Anaheim, home of Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. It’s southeast of LA city by about 20 (?) miles along I-5, so about an hours drive (seriously). For those not familiar.

  2. avatar Gunr says:

    So, three robbery attempts. Maybe the next one will fly! One out of four ain’t bad!

  3. avatar Scrubula says:

    They need a sign out front prohibiting guns from being brought in. That’ll teach the criminals!

    1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

      BWAH hahahaha…………

  4. avatar jwm says:

    Helped some of those folks escape the communist takeover of RVN. In my, limited I admit, experience Asian folks have some of the toughest gun controls laws going. Which for the most part they all seem to ignore. Need a gun in the PI. Not a problem.

    Fast forward a few decades to sunny CA. Visit any range in the state. On any given day at least a third of the shooters will be Asian and they will be shooting high end weapons.

    What does this ramble have to do with a jewelry store in So Ca? I don’t know, but I suspect if I was the criminal type I would pass up the Asian businesses.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      If you’re smart enough to pass up robbing the Asian owned businesses you’d be smart enough to pass on a life of crime in the first place.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        Correct!

  5. avatar Mister Fleas says:

    Seems like shades of Lance Thomas, the Los Angeles merchant of antique watches.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-70591.html

    “Over a period of less than 3 years, Thomas was involved in four gun
    battles against a total of 11 known suspects. He shot six of them,
    killing five. The watch dealer himself was wounded on two of these
    occasions, taking a total of five rounds. There are many lessons that
    the rest of us can learn: Lessons of long-term strategy and short-term
    tactics; of gun selection and ammunition effectiveness; and, above
    all, of courage under fire in the moment, and of determination over
    the long haul.

    August 10, 1989.

    Like so many storekeepers, Thomas feels his watch shop would be a
    safer place if he had a gun with which to fend off armed robbers. He
    has acquired a Model 36, a five-shot Smith & Wesson .38 Chief Special.
    He keeps the snubnose revolver where he can reach it easily. On this
    day, he’ll be glad he did.Two men enter. One appears to have some sort
    of weapon, and the other pulls what Thomas recognizes as a 9mm
    semiautomatic pistol. Thomas knows he can just give the man his money
    and goods, but he also knows that to do so is to trust his life to the
    whim of a violent man unlawfully wielding a deadly weapon. Instead,
    Thomas chooses to fight.His hand flashes to the Chief Special, and he
    comes up shooting. The little revolver barks three times. Two of his
    bullets miss, but one smashes into the gunman’s face, putting him out
    of the fight. The merchant swings toward the accomplice, but cannot
    see a weapon at the moment, and so, does not fire. Instead, he orders
    the suspect to leave. The now-compliant accomplice does so, dragging
    his wounded comrade with him. The robber will survive. Lance Thomas is
    unhurt. His decision to be an armed citizen, to fight back, has been
    validated. The wounded robber will be charged, and the armed citizen
    has the sympathy of the authorities. Thomas has won in every respect.

    In assessing the aftermath, the Rolex specialist analyzes what he has
    learned with the same precision he applies to the repair and
    adjustment of fine watches. It is not lost on him that he has expended
    60 percent of his ammunition to neutralize 50 percent of his
    antagonists. It occurs to him that a single five-shot revolver might
    not be enough if there’s a next time, and that there won’t be much
    opportunity to reload.And what if he had been caught out of reach of
    his Smith? Thomas expands his defensive strategy. The .38 is joined by
    a trio of .357 Magnum revolvers: a Colt Python, a Smith & Wesson Model
    19 Combat Magnum, and a Ruger Security-Six. He arrays them a few feet
    apart within the small perimeter of his workspace so there will always
    be one within reach no matter where he’s standing.If he runs dry, he
    won’t even think about reloading: he’ll simply drop the empty gun and
    grab another fully loaded one.

    Professional Hit

    November 27, 1989.

    This time, it’s the kind of professional hit that the NYPD Stakeout
    Squad warned you about– a five-man team of thugs who know what
    they’re doing. There’s seeded backup, a perpetrator ambling around on
    the sidewalk outside, pretending to be a passerby. The outrider is in
    the driver’s seat of the getaway car, at once a wheelman and a
    potential killer who can murderously interdict responding officers, or
    go inside with heavy weapons to rescue accomplices who are captured
    inside the premises. The remaining three perpetrators comprise the
    raid team.It opens hot, fast and ugly. One of the perpetrators opens
    up on Lance Thomas without warning, firing a semiautomatic pistol,
    hitting him four times with eight rounds fired. Three of the .25 ACP
    bullets bite into Thomas’ right shoulder, a fourth into his neck. The
    watchmaker grabs the nearest revolver, the Ruger .357, missing with
    the first shot but scoring with the next five.The gunman falls to the
    floor and so does the Security-Six: it has clicked empty. Thomas drops
    it, lunging for the next nearest weapon, the snubnose .38 that had
    saved him last time.Now he engages the second suspect, who is shooting
    at him. Thomas shoots back. That gun, too, runs dry. He hasn’t hit his
    antagonist, but he hasn’t been hit either, and the second robber is in
    no mood to continue the gunfight.The third inside suspect opens fire
    at Thomas. Wounded, but furious and still in the fight, the
    storekeeper grabs his third gun of the shootout, another .357. As Paul
    Kirchner relates it, he “empties it into” the third gunman. That
    offender goes down.The little watch shop is filled with the stench of
    smokeless powder and the reek of blood. The second offender wants no
    more of being shot at, and has abjured from the conflict.Outside, the
    two additional robbers realize that three of their colleagues have
    gone inside for an easy score, there has been a long volley of
    explosive gunfire, and only one has come back out alive. Whatever is
    in there, they don’t want any part of it. The three surviving robbers
    flee.

    Inside, only one of the combatants is standing. Bleeding but defiant,
    the wounded Lance Thomas looks down at the two men he has killed. In
    the course of the fight, he has fired 19 shots. Charmed Life. Some people
    are beginning to think that Thomas bears a charmed life. Since an
    enemy sent into ignominious retreat can certainly be said to have been
    vanquished, the score now stands at Lance Thomas 7, Armed Robbers
    0.However, it occurs to the storekeeper that his survival armory might
    need another firepower upgrade. This time, he decides to try
    semiautomatic pistols. He buys four, all SIGs, that operate the same
    way. One is the compact nine-shot P-225 9mm. The other three are
    assorted versions of the P-220 8-shot .45 auto.As the Turning Point
    cameras pan across his gun collection, we see the American-style of
    SIG with push-button magazine release as well as the European-style
    with the butt heel mag release. There is a Browning BDA, which is a
    European P-220 by a different name.Magazine release styles don’t
    matter. Lance Thomas still doesn’t plan to reload. If one gun runs
    dry, he’ll reach for another. He now has up to eight handguns readily
    available. Fully loaded, they hold 56 rounds between them.With his
    plan, they all function essentially the same: grab gun, index weapon
    on target, pull trigger until it stops shooting, grab additional guns,
    repeat as necessary. Thomas commits himself to constant practice in
    accessing one or another of his defense guns from any conceivable
    position.

    Two Year Break

    December 4, 1991.

    It has been more than two years since the last incident. Some others
    would be complacent by now. Not Lance Thomas, who has learned that
    vigilance equals survival, and from the beginning has realized he is
    responsible for the safety of his customers.On this date a male
    perpetrator strides in, accompanied by a female accomplice who shows
    no weapon. The man pulls a loaded Glock pistol. He points the gun at
    Thomas and orders him to be motionless.No way. Thomas goes for his
    gun.The perpetrator fires first, pumping a 9mm bullet through Thomas’
    neck, drilling a wound channel that is just a fraction of an inch from
    being fatal. But now, Thomas has reached his rarest pistol, the little
    P225, and he is firing back.The watch shop proprietor has been forced
    into an awkward hold on the gun, and he can only fire three rounds–
    all straight into the chest of his opponent– before his imperfect
    grasp causes the usually reliable SIG 9mm to jam. Without missing a
    beat, he drops it and grabs one of its big brothers, which he fires
    into the opponent five more times until the armed robber falls and
    stops trying to commit murder.Frozen in terror, the female accomplice
    offers no violence. It’s over.Wounded, Lance Thomas will recover. Not
    so the criminal who shot him, who will die of the eight rounds– all
    hits, eight for eight– that the armed citizen has inflicted with his
    two SIG-Sauer pistols.

    Ever Vigilant

    February 20,1992.

    It has been just over two and a half months since the last shootout.
    Lance Thomas has remained vigilant. Now, his wariness pays off.

    Two armed perpetrators enter the store. As soon as Thomas sees the
    automatic pistol in one of their hands, he reflexes to his nearest
    pistol, one of the P-220s. This perpetrator goes down fast, hit with
    what author Kirchner describes as most of a “gunload” of .45 ACP
    ammunition. Grabbing another P-220, Thomas engages the second armed
    robbery suspect and shoots him four times. The suspect falls. The
    danger is over. Both armed robbers are dead at the shopowner’s hands.
    In four gun battles, Lance Thomas has fired 40-plus shots. He has
    killed five men, and wounded another. He has defeated a total of 11
    perpetrators, either shot down or driven off in abject flight. He has
    been wounded five times.

    Word On The Street

    By now the word was out on the street. Some of those who had died by
    the blazing Thomas guns had been members of the organized street gangs
    that infest Los Angeles like an advanced, spreading cancer. They had
    declared war. They were going to rake Lance Thomas’ watch shop with
    drive-by shootings and massacre his customers for revenge. The armed
    citizen had to make a difficult decision. Thomas had stood up to the
    armed criminals for some 29 months. He was ready to continue to risk
    his own life, however, he felt he had no right to risk the lives of
    customers and bystanders in the face of this latest threat.
    Reluctantly, sadly, he switched to business by mail order and
    Internet. The watch shop was closed. The big Rolex sign that some
    believed had attracted the robbers like flies came down. Lance Thomas
    moved. The epoch of a modern urban gunfighter had ended.”

    1. avatar whatever says:

      A sad but still inspiring story. He turned his shop into a Roach Motel for thugs. Good man.

    2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      The problem with deteriorating high crime areas with lots of criminals and liberal politicians is that sooner or later the sheer numbers of idiots will just wear you down. I have swapped neighborhoods at least partially for that reason 2 times now.

    3. avatar Panzercat says:

      “The epoch of a modern urban gunfighter had ended.”

      With the resurgence of mass shootings and calls for increased vigilance, I’d argue that just maybe the era of the modern gunfighter hasn’t quite seen its sunset.

  6. avatar Keith E. Whisman says:

    I’m surprised that in California (a communist country like Vietnam and North Korea) the store employees weren’t brought up on charges. Californiastan is not exactly a pro 2A state with each citizen having to worry about hundreds of laws before he even leaves his front door. It’s a felony in Californiastan to even possess a baton of any size including an ASP that I use at work and is a pretty good self defense weapon alone but will land you in prison. That store owner would’ve been happier moving to Arizona.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      In CA firearms law your place of business is treated as your property or residence. It’s legal to tool up there.

      I was surprised some years ago when a guy that owned the cab he drove in San Francisco used a gun to protect himself from a robber. The courst stood up for the cabbie, saying he had the right to carry in the cab, his place of business.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        I can’t even imagine driving a cab (with occupants) without having a large caliber handgun in an easily accessible location, like in a shoulder holster with your gun on your left chest.
        And, just to better your odds, a backup 380 or larger.

  7. avatar last marine out says:

    Tues. is elections day …VOTE 2A……the local elections count the most…. and back the votes up with phone calls…………

  8. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Dean wrote:

    “You would think that word would spread within the criminal community that Tic Tock Fine Watches and Jewelry isn’t an easy target.”

    No, I think that as likely Progressive robbers looking to kick-start the socialistic forced redistribution of wealth were obviously “Not doing it right.” and that they were gonna pull off that caper by doing it “Smarter”.

  9. avatar Panzercat says:

    I’m thinking his shop has become a gang hazing ritual. “Think you’re good enough to join our gang? Hit TicToc’s on the corner and bring us back some bling.”

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Asian-Americans, especially store owners, are among the hardest-working and most law abiding of all citizens. I just wish they were better shots.

    1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      It’s hard, because we have a tendency to squint all the time.

  11. avatar Jon says:

    Ok, now why is it that a Viet shop seems to get it right, and “All-American” businesses aim to keep their employees defenseless?? WTF is up with that?!
    …. I can’t be the only one who sees the irony here!

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Just guessing here. Most of the Asian owned shops I encounter in the bay area are family owned local businesses with no corporate masters and lawyers to answer too. They also tend to employ their own families in the shops.

      Somebody walks into one of these shops with a gun is not only a threat to their livelyhood, but a threat to their families as well.

      1. avatar Jon says:

        and that’s what make those shops more American than….err…. American shops- o_O. ….. it’s just messed up.

  12. avatar Jon says:

    “I wouldn’t want someone who had escaped the communist takeover of Vietnam, reestablished himself half way across the world and built a thriving small business to be shooting at me.”

    That’s a bit confusing, and I’m going to take that as: “If I were a criminal, I wouldn’t want them shooting at me.” – Otherwise: WTF!

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