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Deputies arrest suspects in Cerritos jewelry heist

May 7, 2011 |  1:51 pm

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two men and were searching for a third after a smash-and-grab robbery of a jewelry store at the Los Cerritos Shopping Center.

At about noon Saturday, three suspects entered the Ben Bridge jewelry store, smashed jewelry cases, snatched an unknown amount of merchandise and ran out of the mall, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker.

A witness, who did not want to be identified, said by phone that at least two men wearing black masks entered the mall, near the Nordstrom department store, and the witness later heard what sounded like eight gunshots. Police have not confirm whether any shots were fired inside the mall.

As the suspects were leaving in a vehicle, deputies with the Sheriff’s Cerritos Station arrived and began pursuing the suspects, Parker said.

The chase proceeded for a short distance before the suspects' vehicle stopped at the intersection of Bellflower Boulevard and Park Street, whereupon two of the suspects jumped out of the vehicle and ran. The driver sped off, Parker said.

Deputies immediately set up a containment around the area and took one of the suspects into custody.  Deputies continued their search for a second suspect within the area. At Bellflower Boulevard, near the 91 Freeway, the driver sideswiped several cars and the pursuit eventually ended at Rosecrans and Atlantic avenues, where the driver was taken into custody.

The identities of the suspects were not immediately released.

-- Andrew Blankstein and Ruben Vives