Antioch police make arrest in burglary of JC Penny jewelry department

One man was arrested and at least two more are sought in connection with a break-in burglary early Friday morning at the JC Penney store in far southeast Antioch, police said.

Police were called at 6:05 a.m. Friday by a silent alarm to the temporarily closed JC Penney store between Slatten Ranch Road and Empire Avenue. Police said that while officers were responding, several further reports of activated alarms came in, and the alarm company said surveillance cameras were being deactivated from inside the store.

The first arriving officer located an open door, police said, and upon checking it a suspect quickly pulled it shut from inside. The store was then surrounded. A search team including a police dog and aided a drone and pole cameras, and by thermal imaging equipment from the Contra Costa Fire Protection District searched the store for hours before finding one suspect hiding behind a small wall above the ceiling tiles. Police said the man was in possession of several pieces of jewelry from inside the store.

Further investigation revealed at least two other suspects entered the store, smashed the jewelry cases and tried to steal approximately $50,000 worth of jewelry. Antioch officers found and recovered all of the stolen jewelry, inside a duffel bag in the store. The two additional suspects escaped, but police said they have "good leads on their identities."