Police: Gold grill designer's jewelry store targeted in heist

Crooks rob Johnny Dang & Co store inside Galleria Mall

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Crooks carried out an armed heist at a jewelry store inside The Galleria mall on Thursday night, police say.

The Johnny Dang & Co. store is owned by Johnny Dang, the jewelry designer who makes gold grills for famous rappers and high profile celebrities.

Authorities said two armed men dashed into the store and stole watches and other pieces of jewelry. According to investigators, Dang and several of his employees were in the store but were not hurt.

Shoppers told Local 2 they were stunned the robbery was pulled off inside the mall.

"It's pretty safe. They usually have a lot of security guards everywhere, so I would have never expected something like that to happen in the Galleria," said Mary Abdou.

Police have few clues about the thieves' identities because they had their faces covered.

The doors were locked on Friday and the person inside had no comment.

"People are getting desperate and brave," said Michael Heyman.

Jewelry stores in the Galleria have been targeted before. In December 2011, three masked men carried out a smash and grab robbery inside the Ben Bridge jewelry store, breaking the glass cases with hammers and getting away with 20 Rolex watches worth more than $350,000. Another Ben Bridge jewelry store was hit in February 2012 in Memorial City Mall.

"I think we're heavy on crime and light on punishment, and it's not a deterrent anymore," said shopper Sam Hansen.

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