Orange County deputies are searching for a group of robbers they say used axes to destroy an Avalon Park jewelry store owner to steal $100,000 worth of jewelry.
Video shows the three culprits breaking into the Avalon Park Jewelers on Avalon Park Bouelvard at 6 a.m. Monday. The owner heard the commotion and saw the thieves in action, deputies said.
In the video, axes are used to smash their way inside the jewelry cases as the men gathered up $100,000 worth of jewelry and stuffed it in pillowcases.
The owner's boyfriend then said he tried to intervene and the thieves turned the ax on him, swinging at him on their way out of the store.
"That's probably one of the most traumatizing things I've ever witnessed. Everybody thinks when they see the tape 'oh my gosh,'" said Tiffany Bayley, the store owner. "When you really walk up to the front door and you see them in there and you see them victimizing what you've worked your entire life for. It's extremely traumatizing."
No injuries were reported.
Bayley said over the weekend a man came into the store and was acting very suspicious, almost casing the store. She said he asked about some of the most expensive jewelry and she's convinced he was one of the men who robbed the store.
Bayley said it is the sixth break-in at her store in the past five years. She said every other time the suspects have left when the alarm went off, except for Monday's incident.