Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Smash and Grab Robbers Routed by Armed Store Owner

"It's Terrifying Living in California"

By Robert A. Waters

On December 11, 2023, a gang of smash and grab robbers stormed into the Estates Consignment store in Pleasant Hill, California. It was the middle of the day when a "scout," a woman dressed in a colorful dress, wandered around the shop eyeing surveillance cameras and speaking into her cell phone. A security guard stood at the locked door, allowing customers to enter and exit.

When the woman left the building, she held the door open long enough so the group of thieves could force their way inside. Two robbers threatened the unarmed security guard, holding him at bay, while five men raced straight toward the jewelry section of the store. One robber carried a sledgehammer. Expensive rings, watches, necklaces and high-end gems sat in glass cases near the rear of the store.

As the men neared the jewelry cases, a clerk screamed, alerting business owner Albert Marcu.

The brazen attitude of the thieves struck him. They acted like they owned the store. Marcu pulled a .38-caliber revolver from his pocket and moved to confront the men. "I told them to 'watch it' and they saw the gun and ran away," he said.

That's an understatement. As they neared the counter and noticed the gun, they stopped dead in their tracks. It was if all five men hit a brick wall at once. They halted, turned and sprinted for the door, kicking over chairs in their panicky flight.

In thirty seconds, the thugs were gone.

Albert Marcu is a remarkable man. He grew up in communist Romania, but fled when he was 19. He landed in Germany and obtained a degree in architecture there. Immigrating to America, Marcu worked for a few years in that profession. However, his passion was making and repairing jewelry and he soon opened his successful Estates Consignment shop.

After defending his store, the storeowner gave interviews to several networks.

"I feel very, very bad for this country," he said, "which is one of the best countries in the world. We beg the politicians to help us small businesses and help communities all over California. I'd say about 99% of my customers complain about crime."

Marcu told reporters he had a premonition his store might be hit "as large-scale retail thefts have become synonymous with the Bay area."

In an interview with Fox News, Marcu was asked about Governor Gavin Newsom's claim that San Francisco outperformed other areas in the state in reducing thefts. "Not true," Marcu said emphatically.

"I didn't want to shoot anybody," he said. "But I have to make a statement. Too many bad things have happened. Stores get robbed left and right. I have a message for all business owners, to take example and fight for themselves, because if you don't fight for yourself, nobody will."

"It's terrifying living in California," Marcu said.

As of this writing, none of the would-be robbers that attacked Albert Marcu's consignment store have been apprehended. If they are caught, they'll likely be released and face no charges. (In the Golden State, many prosecutors refuse to indict criminals except for the most violent crimes.)

No comments: