Jewelry store owner turns table on robber

December 17, 2009 3:48:46 PM PST
A store owner in Plainfield, New Jersey, turned the tides on a would-be robber. In the 20 years Bong Chang's jewelry store has been on East Front Street, it had never been robbed. Until Wednesday.

His security cameras captured it all. Around 1 p.m., an armed suspect walked in, backpack in hand. He pulled up his mask, pulled out a gun and ordered Chang and a clerk to open the jewelry cases.

The suspect could be seen dumping tray after tray, more than $100,000 worth of gold and diamonds. And the robber placed the gun on the counter to collect his loot. Bong noticed that too. And when the robber did it again, Bong seized the chance and went for the gun.

"I have the gun in my hand, and I try to shoot him," he said. "But it wouldn't shoot, it had the safety on."

A struggle ensued, off camera. The suspect ran to a back office, but, realizing there was no way out, ran back and fought his way to the door with the clerk in pursuit.

The camera practically tracked the suspect's escape. He left the jewelry store and came to a parking lot, where he jumped into a getaway car. Cameras in the lot captured that too.

Scratches on Chang's face and hands suggest how violent the struggle became. Police have quite a few images to work with. The metal detector at the door snapped an image once it sensed the gun. Customers today took a good look at the image, disgusted with the crime.

"It's a shame," customer Sheldon Nevius said.

"You hurt people for things like this, it's crazy," customer James Kerney said.

Police are still trying to track the robber down. If caught, he'd face several felony charges.