HOUSTON—Houston Police are looking for at least four men who smashed their way into a jewelry store Wednesday.
The masked robbers used a sledgehammer to storm into the India Jewelers store near Hillcroft and the Southwest Freeway around 1 p.m.
They waved a gun and smashed cases taking the jewelry-filled trays out the front door to a waiting van while the owners watched helplessly.
Investigators say they have seen this before and when it happens, it happens fast.
"In the business, out of the business in two minutes," said John Bennington with the HPD robbery division.
It happened so quickly neighboring business owners had no idea there was a robbery in progress.
"I guess I was more into what I was trying to do and I wasn’t paying attention. I guess I need to pay more attention now," said Roger Munoz, who runs a tattoo parlor next door.
The getaway van, which was also stolen, was found abandoned just blocks away in the parking garage of a bank.
Investigator Bennington has seen this all too often.
"It is the same routine. Gloves and masks, at this is point in time we really don’t have a lot to work with," he said.
Investigators hope to get fingerprints from a hammer used in the crime and some rings scattered on the ground where the getaway van was dumped.
They’re also checking out surveillance cameras from the jewelry store and nearby businesses.
So far, police say there is no description of the suspects.