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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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.
California would be great if not for all the Californians.
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.
So, three robbery attempts. Maybe the next one will fly! One out of four ain’t bad!
They need a sign out front prohibiting guns from being brought in. That’ll teach the criminals!
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.
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.
Seems like shades of Lance Thomas, the Los Angeles merchant of antique watches.
“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.
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
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
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.
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.”
A sad but still inspiring story. He turned his shop into a Roach Motel for thugs. Good man.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Tues. is elections day …VOTE 2A……the local elections count the most…. and back the votes up with phone calls…………
“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”.
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.”
Asian-Americans, especially store owners, are among the hardest-working and most law abiding of all citizens. I just wish they were better shots.
It’s hard, because we have a tendency to squint all the time.
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!
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.
and that’s what make those shops more American than….err…. American shops- o_O. ….. it’s just messed up.
“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!