ANTIOCH, Calif. (KTVU) - Antioch police are looking for several robbers who stormed a jewelry store, shattering glass cases and stealing merchandise.
Wednesday's smash and grab crime fits a recent pattern: criminals costumed as construction workers.
All over the country, there are reports of burglars and robbers wearing neon vests, hard hats, dust masks and goggles, which not only hide their appearance but allow them to blend in.
"They came in knowing what they were doing, with masks and sunglasses," witness Justin Donahue told KTVU.
Donahue works across from Ron's Jewelry, which was hit about 11 AM, an hour after the Somersville Town Center opened.
"I heard the hammer and that's what made me look back and that's when I saw them in the construction vests."
At least one of the four men had a gun and they used a hammer to break display cases and steal an undisclosed amount of jewelry.
"It makes the employees feel uncomfortable, it makes me, the owner, uncomfortable," store owner Sam Hudda told KTVU.
He was alerted to the robbery while at home in Fremont and drove to the mall, relieved to find his salesman, pepper-sprayed by the robbers, was not seriously hurt.
After cleaning up the mess, the store remained closed for the day.
"These people are very daring. In 25 years, I've never seen this in the daytime like this, taking out weapons and commiting this kind of thing," declared Hudda.
In April, a trio of robbers dressed in construction garb tried a simplistic tactic at a watch store in Walnut Creek.
They also showed a gun and used pepper spray, but that store own pulled his own weapon on them, and they fled empty-handed.
They were in a newer model Dodge Challenger.
The Antioch robbers fled in a silver Infiniti sedan. In both instances, the vehicles had paper dealer plates.
"I saw the one guy with a gun so when I saw it I ran away," Antioch witness Muhammad Yasin told KTVU.
Yasmin runs a kiosk next to Ron's Jewelry.
"They took about four plates of chains, about fifty or sixty gold chains that were heavy," he added.
Antioch Police are not commenting on whether the two recent incidents might be connected, nor have they shared any surveillance video.
"It comes with working retail. You have to worry about things like that and it happened so fast as well," lamented Donahue.